Japanese Tourists Terrified by Drag Racing, Red Light Burning Taxi Driver

A long-term Japanese resident in Tainan city felt embarrassed yesterday, after a taxi he hired for his two Japanese guests sped through narrow downtown streets and ran red lights. The taxi driver then attempted to overcharge his clients, claiming status as an expert driver.

Nozaki Takao, owner of the Mr Ramen chain of restaurants, took his guests to a night-market in Tainan City last night, then hailed a taxi to take his guests back to their hotel. The taxi driver drove them in a manner described in Liberty Times as “drag racing,” reaching speeds of 85 kilometers per hour. Nozaki noted that the taxi driver was young and did not display a license as required by law.

When Mr Nozaki asked the driver to slow down, the driver reassured his customers that he was an expert driver, and upon arriving at the hotel demanded NT$200. Mr Nozaki argued that the journey was no more than 3 kilometers and is normally priced at NT$120.

Nozaki has lived in Taiwan for 11 years and is a foreign affairs adviser to the Tainan City Government. In a Facebook post, Nozaki said that he has never experienced such an incident in a taxi before. He said that such behavior harms the image of Tainan and Taiwan as a tourism destination, and he urged the government to address the issue and make improvements to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.

The Department of Transportation said that the case is on record and they are investigating.

Nozaki, Takao
Mr Ramen, Nozaki, Takao, a former journalist and politician from Japan, operates a chain of Ramen restaurants in Taiwan. Picture: Mr Ramen Facebook page.

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