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Japanese man thanks Taiwanese donor for help

TAIPEI -- A Taiwanese entrepreneur was being sought by a Japanese man who was moved by Taiwanese generosity in July to help fund a medical bill for sending an ill Japanese person home for further care.

The man's act was triggered by CNA reports in late July that his compatriot Kiyoshi Kawachi, 50, who was hospitalized in Taiwan in a coma for two weeks, boarded an emergency medical charter plane to return home July 22. The charter plane fee was paid with donations from Taiwanese benefactors.

The man, who requested anonymity, visited CNA's Japanese news desk last week and asked the staff to forward his thanks — in the form of a letter and a gift — to 1111 Job Bank President Lin Wen-hsiung whose company's donations made Kawachi's flight back to Japan possible.

The Japanese man himself donated 20,000 Japanese yen to Kaohsiung's relief effort to help victims' families return to normal life from a series of propylene pipeline explosions in late July.

Lin said he did so as a gesture to return the favor he had received from Japanese when he studied in Japan — an act that Japanese man said “touched me deeply” and “my current act falls far short of” Lin's.

The Japanese man, in his thank-you letter, also said Taiwanese donations to Japan in the wake of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami showed that Taiwan is “a friend indeed” to Japan.

Kawachi originally planned to return to Japan July 5 after concluding a business trip in Taiwan. However, he collapsed during the flight, prompting the pilot to bring the plane back to Taiwan, whereupon he was taken to Landseed Hospital in Taoyuan County.

Kawachi's wife and daughter came to Taiwan immediately to help him, but he remains in a coma and has shown no improvement after two weeks of observation and treatment.

His family wanted to take him home on a medical charter plane for further treatment, and was unable to shoulder the expenses for his hospitalization and the medical flight.

Daniel Lee, public relations director of the online job bank 1111.com.tw, took the initiative to make contact and said his firm would shoulder the NT$1.62 million (US$54,027) cost of the charter plane.

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