The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday commemorated the 60th anniversary of the World War II victory in 1945 over the Japanese, with party members and veterans paying tribute to those who sacrificed a lot to win Taiwan's freedom from Japan.
Unveiling the red-draped portraits of Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水) and Lee Yong-bang (李永邦), which were hung against the KMT party headquarters' front facade, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the victory marks an important phase in Taiwan's history.
"The victory in the war against the Japanese forms a notable part of Taiwan's history. We should have gratitude for the peace and freedom the victory brought us," Ma said in a speech during the ceremony.
Stressing that the victory was a big achievement in the KMT's leadership history, Ma expressed admiration for Chiang and Lee's fight against Japan for Taiwan.
He said he expected that the KMT will embrace these sides of the country's diversity in its party-reform process.
Chiang was amongst a group of civil leaders who established the Taiwan Culture Association to promote cultural movements in 1921.
The association later became the basis of many nationalist and social movements.
Lee, on the other hand, established an army of Taiwanese volunteers to fight against Japanese soldiers. He died during the "white terror" era.
The ceremony invited both Chiang and Lee's family members, as well as World War II veterans and their families, to commemorate the historical event.
In addition to anti-war songs and poems, the ceremony also featured a simulation of the scene in 1945 when the Japanese commander-in-chief handed over the instrument of surrender to Taiwan's commander-in-chief, Ho Yin-chin (何應欽).
The Chinese government accepted the Japanese government's surrender in Nanjing and Taipei, respectively. This marked the end of the eight-year anti-Japanese war.
To commemorate the occasion, the KMT staged an exhibition at its headquarters in Taipei, consisting of photographs, maps and war memorabilia. The exhibition will run through Oct. 25, sometimes mistakenly called "Taiwan Retrocession Day."
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