Boxes of mochi seen in Taiwan F-16 fighter jet were souvenirs for pilot's commander

Two boxes of mochi were spotted stacked behind the pilot's seat.
Two boxes of mochi were spotted stacked behind the pilot's seat. PHOTO: INTERNET

TAIPEI (THE CHINA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - No punishment will be meted out over the mochi-in-the-fighter-jet incident, Taiwan's Air Force Command Headquarters said Friday (Aug 11) - and that was not even the strangest development in the story.

The day before, the military said it was investigating after a photo released online showed an F-16 fighter jet with two boxes of mochi stacked behind the pilot's seat.

The pilot had picked up the glutinous rice treat while stopped in Hualien during training exercises, and his use of the multi-million-dollar aircraft to collect souveniers looked set to result in disciplinary action.

But it emerged Friday that rather than being his own, the pilot was actually ferrying the mochi as a favour for his division commander.

Considering this, along with relevant regulations and the fact that the placement of the mochi did not interfere with the pilot's operation of the jet, no punishment would be levied on him or his superior officer, the Air Force Command Headquarters said.

It added, however, that it would remind pilots their top priority should be the safe flying of their aircraft.

Meanwhile, Tzen Chi Mochi, the popular gourmet mochi store that the scandalous snack was purchased from, said it disapproved of the pilot's actions.

But not for the reason you probably suspect.

Rather, the store said that placing the product in direct sunlight would hurt its taste and texture.