TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over the weekend, a Japanese astronaut drew praise from many Taiwanese netizens for posting a photo of southern Taiwan captured from the International Space Station (ISS).
On Friday (Feb. 19), Noguchi Soichi posted a photo of southern Taiwan on Twitter and wrote in Japanese Kanji "Tainan City" (台南市) and "Taiwan" (台湾). He then wrote in English, "Tainan City, Taiwan Island."
Over the weekend, the post has gained 10,000 likes, 1,404 retweets, and 145 quote retweets. Taiwan residents of Tainan posted many messages to thank Noguchi for posting a photo of their city:
"Thank you so much from Taiwan Tainan!"
"Tainan, the sugar city. Welcome! Japan friends!"
"Thank you Mr. NOGUCHI for taking such a nice photo for Tainan, Taiwan. It’s a historic city. In addition, its traditional cuisine is as famous as its historic relics. Actually, there are also some other cities worthy to be visited! Welcome to Taiwan upon you back the planet earth!"
A Japanese netizen wrote:
"I can't go on a trip, but I'm happy just to see the pictures of Taiwan... Smiling face with an open mouth. I went to Tainan only once, but at Chihkan Tower, I heard about the Japanese colonial era."
A Taiwanese follower wrote a message in Japanese that made reference to Noguchi's hometown of Yokohama:
"I'm a Taiwanese living in Tainan. Thank you. Both Tainan, a castle in Taiwan, and Yokohama, a port city, are rare pearls that shine when viewed from space. Mr. Noguchi, please come back safely!"
One person wrote that much of the land area visible in the photo is Pingtung County and Taitung County. Columnist Jason Wu pointed out that it's mainly a view of Kaohsiung City but wrote, "Tks anyway."
Another netizen thanked him for the photo but suggested that southern Taiwan (南台灣) would be a more apt description.