Academics reject Ma government’s brash use of ‘Japanese occupation’ 日治改日據 學者批馬政府蠻幹

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - Page 11

All official documents from the Executive Yuan are now supposed to use the term “Japanese occupation” when referring to the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), says Chen Yi-shen, an associate researcher at the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica, adding that he is unsure about how far this nonsense will go. Chen quoted the sister of recently deceased army corporal Hung Chong-chiu, who died of heatstroke after being subject to harsh treatment, asking “Does the Ma government not understand how people communicate?”

Chen says that the Japanese administered Taiwan in accordance with the Treaty of Shimonoseki signed in 1895, which stipulated that Taiwan was ceded to the Japanese Empire in perpetuity, so instead of a military occupation the Japanese actually had legitimate control of Taiwan. In the future, the term “Japanese rule” must be used in the classroom, and regarding the brash actions of those in power, “official documents can say whatever they want them to say,” Chen added.

The Taiwan Society and the Union of Education in Taiwan on July 22, in a joint declaration, said that they suspect President Ma Ying-jeou is conspiring to confuse the terms “Japanese rule” and “Japanese occupation” in an attempt to reject Taiwanese identity and revise Taiwan’s history as exclusively part of China’s. The Executive Yuan now requires all of its agencies to use “Japanese occupation” and prohibits the use of “Japanese rule” in all official documentation, which goes against the facts of Taiwanese history and how Taiwan is conveived, posing a serious challenge to how Taiwanese feel.

Taiwan Association of University Professors deputy chairman Shiu Wen-tang says that the Executive Yuan’s terminology is an apparent expression of its acceptance of Beijing’s “one China” principle, but the UN has already made it clear that the sole representative of China is the People’s Republic of China, so the Republic of China that the Ma administration is talking about is merely a term being used to cheat the public. The Executive Yuan is clearly trying to force the Ministry of Education to also only use “Japanese occupation,” Shiu says, adding that “Ma is definitely manipulating things from behind the scenes.”

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)