Taiwan's Presidential Office on Wednesday heaped praise on late Japanese civil engineer Yoichi Hatta for his contributions to the island, after his statue was found beheaded over the weekend.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang told a news conference that Hatta was an internationally renowned expert who not only played a significant role in the history of modern hydraulic engineering, but also contributed a lot to Taiwan's development of agriculture and irrigation systems.

The statue was allegedly vandalized by a radical pro-unification activist.