Taiwan FM blames himself for suicide of Osaka envoy

Joseph Wu conveys sadness, regret to MOFA staff in open letter

MOFA Minister Joseph Wu in his office, April 16, 2018

MOFA Minister Joseph Wu in his office, April 16, 2018 (By Agencies)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said he feels guilty and in-part blames himself for the suicide of Director of Taiwan representative office in Osaka Su Chii-cherng (蘇啓誠), reported CNA.

Wu made the remarks in an open letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) staff on Sept. 14, the letter was then released to the media. Wu called for MOFA officials to take care of themselves and conveyed his regret over the incident.

Su reportedly committed suicide at his residence in Osaka on Sept. 13-14, days after fake news and social media critiques of Taiwan's response to Typhoon Jebi and an earthquake in Hokkaido. Su studied Japanese language and culture in both Japan and Taiwan, and was a career diplomat.

Wu described Su as an outstanding diplomat, full of integrity, modesty, and sincerity. He added that he felt deep sadness when he learnt of the news.

Wu said he in-part blames himself, due to the internal and external pressures relating to Su's work.

On reflection, Wu encouraged all Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff to tend to one's mental and physical health, as well as one's family affairs. "We need more care and to support each other," he wrote, reported CNA.

Wu said that Taiwanese diplomats do a significant amount of unseen work for the good of Taiwan, and are often required to work irregular hours with time pressures.

Su's death brought shock and great sadness to Taiwan's foreign policy establishment, reported CNA.

Those considering suicide should immediately call the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center at any time at 0800-788995 or Taiwan Lifeline International at 1995. Foreign residents can call the Community Services Center's emergency hotline at 0932-594-578 24 hours a day.