Sat, Nov 03, 2012 - Page 8

Wartime lessons help us all

Thank you for the article entitled “Memoirs recall Japan’s wartime rule over Taiwan in the 1940s” (Nov. 1, page 12), and thanks to Tony Kuo (郭天祿), who translated into English his father’s memoirs of life under Japanese rule and as a soldier for the Japanese.

This type of research needs to be carried out to enlighten us to a fascinating and under-studied period of World War II and the years prior to the war.

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Imperial Japanese Army. As in Tony Kuo’s father’s diary, their story needs to be told.

I have always been interested in the US bombing of Taiwan. At the National 228 Memorial Museum in 228 Park there is an exhibit on the bombing of Taipei by the US. The Presidential Office and Longshan Temple were just two of the many buildings bombed in those air raids in an effort to defeat the Japanese occupiers of Taiwan.

I recall religious Taiwanese friends’ stories that some of the bombs dropping from the air were caught by “guardian angels” of the people below. If only those stories were true: So many suffered during the war, on all sides of the conflict.

Let us tell the stories of those who lived through those times in the hope that such violence will never happen again.

Academic research, oral histories and newspaper articles such as this can only enlighten us to those terrible times.

Dave Hall


This hypocrisy is sickening

Your recent editorial (“Promoting gays rights helps Taiwan,” Oct. 31, page 8) underlines the blatant hypocrisy of promoting human rights in Taiwan.

Whilst I agree with gay rights, this society takes no action when the right of darker-skinned non-citizens to sit in a public park is openly abused and no corrective action is taken. This was noted in recent news stories and in your bland editorial “Racism raises its ugly head” (Sept. 22, page 8) that accepted this occurence as normal.

Action was needed but your much-vaunted newspaper proposed absolutely nothing. You choose to ignore the fact that non-residents are excluded from riding on government-financed shuttle buses in Taoyuan and are in fact thrown off (“More Taoyuan racism,” Letters, Sept. 27, page 8). These types of outrageous acts will continue because, when it comes to civil rights, Taiwanese will never confront the racist actions of fellow Taiwanese when outsiders are involved.

Your paper’s trumpeting of “civil rights” is a sham, but you still love to receive false international credit for it. It is enough to make a person sick.

John Hanna