Pro-localization groups and academics in Taipei yesterday staged a re-enactment of Japan’s surrender in 1945 with the raising of a “Taiwan flag” to rebut the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) long-held claims that it “liberated” Taiwan on Retrocession Day on Oct. 25, 1945.
According to Academia Sinica Institute of Modern History researcher Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深), after Japan’s declaration of surrender, then-Japanese governor-general of Taiwan Rikichi Ando, representing the Japanese government and garrison in Taiwan, surrendered to the Allied Forces in what is modern-day Zhongshan Hall in Taipei.
Chen said that the Japanese surrender had been made to the Allied forces and not the Republic of China (ROC), citing the presence of the flags of the US, the UK, Soviet Union and China at the surrender ceremony as evidence.
The then-KMT government represented the Allied forces in receiving the instrument of surrender, Chen said, adding that in accordance with the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Japanese Empire surrendered their claims to Taiwan, the Pescadores and surrounding islands, but had not stated explicitly to whom they surrendered the sovereignty of the islands.
The event yesterday gathered more than 20 pro-localization groups in front of Zhongshan Hall, where they made a joint statement that Taiwan does not belong to “the KMT government-in-exile” and has “nothing to do with China.”
Taiwan belongs to Taiwanese and all those who identify with the land have the right to establish a new country on the island, the groups said.
The KMT’s “liberation myth” must be debunked, the group said, adding that the raising of a “Taiwan flag” on Oct. 26 marked the true Retrocession Day for Taiwanese, in the sense that the nation was to be governed by Taiwanese and not outsiders.