Taiwanese envoy kills himself after coming under pressure for not doing enough for travellers stuck in Osaka

In this photo taken on Sept 5, 2018, passengers stranded overnight at the Kansai International Airport due to Typhoon Jebi queue for buses that will transport them out of the airport in Izumisano city, Osaka prefecture.
In this photo taken on Sept 5, 2018, passengers stranded overnight at the Kansai International Airport due to Typhoon Jebi queue for buses that will transport them out of the airport in Izumisano city, Osaka prefecture. PHOTO: JIJI PRESS/AFP

TAIPEI - A Taiwanese envoy to Japan has committed suicide at his home in Osaka, after drawing flak for failing to provide timely help to Taiwanese travellers who were stranded at an airport due to heavy flooding earlier this month.

Mr Su Chii-cherng, head of Taiwan's representative office in Osaka, was found dead by hanging on Friday (Sept 14), leaving behind a note saying that he "could not bear with the harsh external criticisms and was anguished", the China Times reported.

Osaka's Kansai International Airport was shut down on Sept 4 after Typhoon Jebi, which killed at least 11 people, flooded the facility.

China reportedly deployed 15 tour buses to evacuate Chinese mainlanders from the airport after the closure, but Taiwan's office in Osaka was criticised for not doing the same for Taiwanese travellers, the Central News Agency reported.

Taiwan's representative to Japan, Mr Frank Hsieh, who has left Tokyo for Osaka after Mr Su's suicide, said he was shocked and saddened by the death.