The remaining walls of the old Taipei prison, built during the Japanese colonial rule, stand witness to the nation’s penal history.
Located in the city’s Daan District (大安), the ruins of the walls were once part of a prison built in the early 1900s by the Japanese in response to anti-Japanese uprisings around the island.
Large prisons were erected in Taipei and Tainan. The stones used to build the walls came mainly from Taipei’s old city walls, which were torn down by the Japanese at around the same time.
Chu Yi-fang (朱義方), a resident near the old prison site, said that when he was young, village elders often warned the children to stay away from two locations in their community: One was Wude Hall, where the Japanese used to practice martial arts, and the other was the old Taipei prison.
Chu remembered the chilling atmosphere near the prison and hearing rumors about ghosts when he was a child.
Prisoners used to be executed in the prison courtyard and their families would claim their corpses at the gate.
Liao Tien-ting (廖添丁), a legendary thief who was portrayed as an anti-Japanese hero, and Lo Fu-hsing (羅福星), an anti-Japanese leader, are both said to have been executed in the prison, along with captured airmen from the Allied forces during World War II.
In 2009, a plaque was erected on the wall of the old prison to commemorate the executed airmen, among them 14 US citizens who were executed on June 19, 1945 — 58 days before the end of the war.
After the war, the Republic of China government continued using the prison until 1963. The remains of the prison walls were designated a historic site by the city in 1998.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two