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Monday, January 15, 2024

"Society has become rotten!" Open Letter to Taiwanese Premier Featured

By:   Jun’ya Kato | Japan
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"Society has become rotten!" Open Letter to Taiwanese Premier

Last November, I wrote an open letter to Premier Philip Chen Chien-jen, who was said to be a “devout” Catholic on some ethical issues. I wrote my letter both in Chinese and English. Then, I emailed and sent by postal service. While Premier Philip Chen Chien-jen himself did not reply, I received two replies from the government officials in Chinese. Let me show my English letter with some corrections so that it become more closer to the Chinese version. I also translate the government official’s replies   into English.  

November 8th, 2023

Your Excellency Premier Philip Chen Chien-jen, 

I am Kato, Japanese Catholic. From June of 2004 to March of 2006, I worked in Hsinchu City for two years so I know quite many Taiwanese people. After my return to Japan, I visit Taiwan once or twice a year. I have watched Taiwan about twenty years in this way. In recent years, I feel Taiwanese society has become so rotten compared to before. This time, let me show my opinion toward the three issues on family and life ethics by open letter. 

First is pro-life. On September 16th, I visited Taichung and joined

. But you did not announce this activity on Facebook and you did not join it by yourself, I felt very sorry about them.   

According to the report, the number of abortions in Taiwan is very serious. It is more than twice or triple of the number of births. From my experience, I say that just like Japanese, many Taiwanese almost have no interest in this issue. Even candidates for Presidency completely ignore this fact when they take the issue of declining birthrate. Moreover, the pro-life organizations which I know, Human Life Ethic Research Center at Fu Jen Faculty of Theology St. Robert Bellarmine in New Taipei City, St. Gianna Prolife Center of the Diocese of Hsinchu in Taoyuan City and Ray of Hope in Tainan City, leaders are all foreignersHow come Taiwanese people can save themselves in this way? I hope you will also join this activity and help Taiwanese recognize the importance to protect babies and mothers.

This means children born by the donation of egg/sperm do not have anything to know who is their biological mother/father. Is this nothing but trampling on their human rights?

The second is assisted reproduction. While you were still vice president in 2019, you praised the reproductive technology by Lee Women's Hospital as the best example of “medical diplomacy.” It sounds you are too optimistic toward assisted reproduction. As Catholic, I cannot support any of assisted reproduction technology because it easily leads us to think little about God’s plan. Moreover, there may be a disposal of embryo in process of assisted reproduction. Human life begins with the moment of fertilization, so this can be counted as a kind of murder.    

Although there are many things I would like to take in this field, such as surrogate motherhood, this time let me confine to the issue of egg/sperm donation. On October 8th, a clinic called Taipei Fertility Center (TFC) held a seminar on egg donation in Tokyo. When I got their online advertisement, I felt myself needed to search this issue and visited their website. I found they invited Japanese for egg/sperm donation in Japanese. Although there was no page in the Japanese version, donors can receive so-called “nutrition allowance” in reference to the Chinese version. According to Article 8, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3 of the Artificial Reproduction Act, “the donor agrees to donate without compensation.” In fact, donors can receive “nutrition allowance or nutrition products” by Article 8, Paragraph 2. What is the difference between this and selling or buying egg/sperm?

The other thing makes me to worry about is, according to the Taiwanese law, the donor’s name and address cannot be released. This means children born by the donation of egg/sperm do not have anything to know who is their biological mother/father. Is this nothing but trampling on their human rights? When I myself researched this issue, I felt the morality of Japanese and Taiwanese doctors engaging assisted reproduction is very bad, they do not consider even a little about the rights which children should have and make donors a kind of livestock. I hope Taiwanese people consider this field very much.

The third is LGBTQ equality. On October 28th, you supported legislations promoting LGBTQ equality such as the Act for Implementation of J.Y. Interpretation No. 748. But according to the teachings of Catholicism, “the founder of marriage is God himself” and God also for both man and woman established their relationship and “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mt 19:6) I cannot help pointing out you lead yourself and other people to revolt against God.

It is very deplorable that Taiwan is now together with the U. S. and European countries pressuring Japan to accept LGBTQ equality including same sex marriage. On April 23rd, Frank Hsieh Chang-ting, ROC representative to Japan, joined Tokyo Rainbow Pride. In this way, they gave the Japanese wanted to defend the traditional marriage and family much suffering.

Lastly, I would like remind you that you are a Catholic. In your Facebook, you write “I want to become the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and just like a small candle, I burn myself to light up Taiwan.” However, from the abovementioned, I feel your attitudes are completely different from this phrase. Here I would like to emphasize that only the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ can save us, nothing else can do. I hope you carefully make sure if your actions are in harmony with the teachings of Catholicism or not. When you do this, you can become “the light of the world, the salt on earth.”   

God bless you!

Your brother in the Lord,

Jun’ya Kato


Reply from the mailbox of the Minister of Health and Welfare <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;, dated November 16, 2023

Dear Mr. Junya Kato, Hello.

On November 9th of 2023, you wrote a letter No. 222-112037047 to the Premier’s mailbox reflecting the issues on family and life ethics, we explain as follows:

  • As for the data on abortion in Taiwan, since the method of abortion in Taiwan is based on surgery and the drug RU486, according to the statistics of the Central Health Insurance Administration on the number of medical order cases of abortion reported by health insurance contracted hospitals in the past three years, and the total number of RU486 reports provided by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) each year, it is estimated that the total number of abortions in the past three years in Taiwan ranges between about 51,000 and 55,000 each year, which is much lower than the number of births per year, and it is not true that the number of abortions exceeds the number of births by two or three times.
  • The issues you are concerned about regarding assisted reproduction, including "the difference between the nutritional cost of sperm/egg donation and sperm/egg trading" and "the adoption of an anonymous donation system that infringes on the human rights of artificially-reproduced children," are explained as follows:

(a)  According to the current Assisted Reproduction Act, Article 8, Item 1, Paragraph 3, stipulates that the donation of sperm and eggs is done in a gratuitous manner. Paragraph 2 of the same article stipulates that "within the amount or price set by the competent authority, the recipient couple may ask the artificial reproduction organization to provide the donor with nutritional fees or nutrients, or to bear the costs of necessary examinations, medical treatment, loss of working hours, and transportation expenses". This is in consideration of the fact that egg retrieval surgery is an invasive medical act, and that the nutritional status of the donor will affect the quality of sperm/egg. The government will announce and set the upper limit of the fee.

(b)  According to the legislative intent of Article 13 of an anonymous donation system is designed to protect the privacy of the donors and the rights and interests of the artificially reproduced children, and to promote the affinity between the artificially reproduced children and the recipient couples, and to avoid social problems, in accordance with Article 29 of the same Act and the "measures for inquiring into the relationship between the relatives of artificially reproduced children." Artificially reproduced children who intend to marry, adopt, or be adopted may inquire about their action to the National Health Service. The National Health Administration (NHA) has to inquire whether children’s action violates the civil law prohibiting marriage or adoption by close relatives, etc. Therefore, the anonymous donation does not infringe on the rights and interests of the children.

  • In addition, we have also responded to the section on LGBTQ affirmative action laws, such as the “Act for Implementation of J.Y. Interpretation No. 748”, because it involves the authority and responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, and we have written to the Ministry of Justice to reply to you.


Reply from the mailbox of the Ministry of Justice<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;, dated November 24, 2023

Dear Mr. Junya Kato, Hello.

On November 9th of 2023, you wrote a letter No. 222-112037047 to the Premier’s mailbox reflecting the issues on family and life ethics, we explain as follows:

In accordance with the purpose of Interpretation No. 748 of the Judicial Yuan, and based on the result of a referendum, the "Act for Implementation of J.Y. Interpretation No. 748" is a special law that guarantees the intimacy and exclusivity of a permanent bond between two persons of the same sex, so as to ensure that everyone's love is equal through the law. I would like to thank you for your letter and hope that all sectors of society will be tolerant of each other and respect differences.

katoslideA slide for the international symposium held on September 17th, at the convent of Zhongli district, Taoyuan City. 

Why we thought of starting a prolife center in Taiwan?

#Taiwan is one of the freest countries in Asia.
#There are many laws against life (abortion, euthanasia, divorce, now we also have gender education.)
#7.3 billions of fetus are aborted in the world ever year.
The number of annual abortions is very high: Based on the annual birth, the government estimates the number of abortions is double or triple of that of birth in some years. Last year, we had 153,820 of newborns, so it is about 300, 000 of aborted fetuses after doubling [the number].
#Five years ago, there was no social movement against [these] laws on human life.        

katopro lifeThe March for life in Taichung on September 16th, 2023. The bishop himself lead the March. Some Japanese prolife groups and the leader of 40 Days for Life also joined.

katostageAt the end of the March for Life in Taichung, Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, who is not Catholic, also came to greet people and joined the march. Such a contrast to Premier Philip Chen Chien-jen, who did not show any interest in the March for Life!

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