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Taiwan's 'father of prawn culture' receives medal from Japan

TAIPEI -- The Japanese government awarded a medal to Liao I-chiu, Taiwan's “father of prawn culture,” during a ceremony in Taipei on Monday in recognition of his contribution to bilateral exchanges in the aquaculture industry.

Liao received a citation from Japan's representative to Taiwan Sumio Tarui and was later awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by Japan's deputy representative to Taiwan Izuru Hanaki at the ceremony held at the Taipei Office of Japan's Interchange Association.

Tarui praised Liao's efforts over many decades to promote aquaculture exchanges between Taiwan and Japan, and he hoped that Liao would continue to play a part in bilateral academic exchanges in the field.

Liao, currently a fellow at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution, played an important role in developing giant tiger prawn farming in Taiwan.

He also shared his experiences in prawn farming with Japanese experts, said the association, which represents Japan's interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

In 1968, Liao developed the world's first farming techniques for giant tiger prawn, which successfully helped boost the production of giant tiger prawns in Taiwan, not only for local consumption but also for export to countries such as Japan.

Liao, 78, also played an important role in the farming of mullet and milkfish.

At the ceremony, Liao said he was grateful for the honor and offered thanks to his teachers while he studied in Japan between 1962 and 1968 and to the many people who have worked with him in Taiwan since he returned home from Japan in 1968.

Liao was one of four Taiwanese recognized by Japan in the first half of this year for their contributions to promoting bilateral exchanges, according to the association.

The other three were Tsai Kun-tsan, Wu Jin-pu and Cheng Cheng-hsiu, who all made cultural or social contributions to the development of ties between Taiwan and Japan, the association said.

Liao has also been honored for his work in aquaculture from an international organization, earning a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S.-based Global Aquaculture Alliance in 2012.

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