Thu, Apr 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Japan trip not a tribute to militarism: Shu

KNOW YOUR ENEMY The TSU chairman told his critics yesterday that China's missiles pointed at the nation posed a greater threat than his visit to Japan

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Responding yesterday to the uproar over his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine during his Japan trip, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) said that the visit was meant to consolidate cooperation between the two countries, and reminded the Taiwanese people that China has 700 missiles aimed at Taiwan.

"Those I paid homage to at the Yasukuni Shrine are Taiwanese people's ancestors who died in a foreign land," Shu said.

"The last thing I would do is to recognize militarism," the TSU leader said.

"Those political parties and figures who criticized me should consider how much they did for their ancestors who are buried in a foreign land," he said.

Shu made the remarks yesterday morning at a TSU press conference welcoming 100 new members to the party.

The new TSU recruits gave Shu a bouquet of flowers and voiced support for him.

Shu and eight fellow TSU members came back from Japan on Tuesday evening and were greeted by hostile protesters, led by Aboriginal Legislator Kao Chin Su-mei (高金素梅) at CKS International Airport.

When heading for the airport exit, Shu was manhandled by an angry mob.

"I believe that TSU's growth and maturity depends on the support of Taiwanese people and their identification with Taiwan," Shu said.

"I used to be in the military, so I wasn't intimidated by the protesters," he added.

At yesterday's TSU press conference, members of the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會) protested in front of the TSU headquarters and pelted the building with eggs.

Shu said that his visit to Japan focused mainly on strengthening cooperation between Taiwan and Japan with regard to international security, and he felt sorry that some people distorted the intent of his visit into a tribute to Japanese militarism.

"It is ironic that some political parties to stigmatize my visit to Japan, yet justify their collaboration with China," Shu said.

"China has 700 missiles pointed at Taiwan ... they are the ones who embrace militarism," he said.

TSU spokesman Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said yesterday afternoon that the party will propose to the legislature that a shrine should be constructed in Taiwan to honor the 28,000 Taiwanese soldiers who were buried in Japan or elsewhere in the region.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said that his party would not comment on Shu's visit to Japan, but noted that China was indeed becoming a more militaristic country.

"China's `Anti-Secession' Law is aimed at resolving the `Taiwan issue' with `non-peaceful means,'" Lee said.

"This has aroused concern from the international community about China expanding its military capabilities. I think that's a point that people should pay attention to," he said

"According to the DPP's policy, we aim to settle disputes with peaceful means, not force. We oppose militarism of any kind," Lee said.

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