Wed, Mar 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

228, PAST AND PRESENT: Son of Japanese victim returns to Keelung

By Lin Hsin-han and Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporters

Keisho Aoyama, the first Japanese to receive compensation from the government as the son of a person killed in the 228 Incident, yesterday visited Keelung to commemorate his father.

Aoyama’s father, Esaki Aoyama, was believed to be on Keelung’s Heping Island (和平島) — called Sheliao Island (社寮島) at the time — when the family lost all contact with him.

He was reportedly captured and killed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Army in 1947 when his ship from Okinawa reached the shores of Keelung, where his wife and son were living at the time.

Keisho Aoyama went to Heping Island’s Fude Temple to pay tribute to his father.

He said he was assisting the families of two other Japanese nationals — Kane Ishisoko and Minoru Nakatake — to apply for compensation from the government for their lost relatives.

On Feb. 17 last year, the Taipei High Administrative Court ruled in favor of Keisho Aoyama’s request for compensation.

A week later, the 228 Memorial Foundation and the Ministry of the Interior said they would not file an appeal, allowing Keisho Aoyama to receive NT$6 million (US$195,759) in compensation for his father’s disappearance.

On Monday, Keisho Aoyama led a group of families who lost relatives in the 228 Incident from Okinawa, Japan, to Taipei’s Ama Museum (ama, 阿嬤 means grandmother in Hoklo, commonly known as Taiwanese) dedicated to “comfort women.”

“Comfort women” should receive reparations from the Japanese government as he did from Taipei, the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation quoted Keisho Aoyama as saying.

The foundation said Keisho Aoyama thought it was unreasonable for the Ministry of the Interior to initially refuse his request for compensation on the grounds that Japan has not compensated Taiwanese “comfort women” and former Taiwanese service personnel.

In the same vein, he also deemed it unacceptable for the Japanese government to refuse compensation for Taiwanese “comfort women.”

“As the relative of a victim [of government persecution], he feels for Taiwanese comfort women. That is why he took the families of 228 Incident victims from Okinawa to visit the Ama Museum to get to know more about the comfort women issue and show their support for the ama,” the foundation said.

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