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Ice sculpture at Japanese Festival depicts Taiwan landmark

a 10-meter sculpture of Jade Mountain features at Sapporo Snow Festival

Jade Mountain (Yushan) sculpture at Sapporo Snow Festival

Jade Mountain (Yushan) sculpture at Sapporo Snow Festival (CNA photo)

TOKYO (CNA) — An ice sculpture depicting Yushan, Taiwan's tallest mountain, and the historic Kaohsiung railway station building was unveiled in Hokkaido on Monday at the opening of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the world's largest winter carnivals.

The 10-meter-tall, 18-meter-wide sculpture combining the two Taiwanese landmarks was unveiled at the Odori Site of the festival during a ceremony witnessed by Kuo Chung-shi (郭仲熙), Taiwan's deputy representative to Japan, and local politicians.

Kuo thanked festival organizers for again creating a Taiwan-themed ice sculpture for the annual event, which attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world. It was the eighth consecutive year a Taiwan-themed sculpture has been on display at the festival.

Kuo praised the close decades-long ties between Taiwan and Hokkaido, noting the 600,000 visits Taiwanese made to Hokkaido in 2018 and the memorandums of understanding the Japanese prefecture has signed with Taipei and Kaohsiung.

According to the festival's organizers, the construction of the Taiwan-themed sculpture, located at the Mainichi Newspapers Ice Square at the Odori Site, began on Jan. 15 and was completed on Feb. 1.

The sculpture is one of 250 ice sculptures in various sizes currently on display at the three main sites of the 70th Sapporo Snow Festival that runs until Feb. 11.

Both of the landmarks featured in the sculpture have ties to Japan.

Yushan, also known as Mt. Jade and Taiwan's highest peak at 3,952 meters, signed a friendship mountain treaty with Japan's Mt. Fuji on February 7, 2014.

The old Kaohsiung main station was built in 1940 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. It has been preserved due to popular demand and was moved to a new site 82.6 meters southeast of the original site in 2002 to accommodate construction of a new station.

The old building, which weighs 3,500 tons, will be moved back to its original site when the new Kaohsiung station is completed in 2023.