The granddaughter of former British prime minister Winston Churchill visited a memorial park in Jinguashih (金瓜石), New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday to pay tribute to World War II prisoners of war (POWs) held captive in Taiwan by the Japanese.
Emma Mary Soames, who arrived in Taiwan for the first time to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration, was touched while listening to briefings and stories told by experts during her visit to the former Kinkaseki POW Camp, which is now a memorial park.
In 1942, Japan sent 523 POWs from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to the camp in Jinguashih and forced them to work in a copper mine.
An annual memorial ceremony for the POWs is held at the site of the former camp on the second Sunday of November every year to mark the day when the first group of prisoners from the UK armed forces arrived.
The New Taipei City Government spent NT$36 million (US$1.21 million) to build the memorial park and erect a stone wall that is engraved with the names of the more than 4,000 POWs held captive in Taiwan between 1942 and 1945.
Soames is scheduled to take part in a conference centered on the Cairo Declaration today. The Cairo Declaration followed a meeting between Churchill, former US president Franklin Roosevelt and former ROC president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) on ending the Pacific War.