The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus has thrashed out its own draft act to promote transitional justice, with measures including extending the period the bill addresses to the Japanese colonial period and compensation for “comfort women” and veterans who completed an additional year of compulsory military service.
A legislative committee review of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bill was completed in June last year, but cross-caucus negotiations are required before it can be discussed on the legislative floor.
KMT lawmakers boycotted the review in protest, but during this plenary session, the KMT caucus, following internal discussions, seems set to join the effort to push for transitional justice, but with an altered scope.
The transitional justice project is a difficult task, KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said.
Lawmakers from Matsu and Kinmen urged the inclusion of compensation for Taiwanese whose interests were damaged by wartime missions after 1949, he said.
The KMT’s bill allows compensation for former Army 1st Special Forces personnel, who had their military service extended to three years between 1967 and 1986, and for those who paid war bonds to the Japanese colonial government, he said.
The DPP’s draft act on transitional justice states that a transitional justice-promoting committee would be responsible for making political archives public, removing authoritarian symbols and conserving unjust historical monuments — for educational purposes — as well as redressing judicial injustice, restoring historical truth and dealing with ill-gotten party assets.
However, the KMT caucus’ bill calls for the “conservation, planning and making public the unjust monuments, and buildings with colonial and authoritarian symbols.”
Regarding the ill-gotten properties of the state, parties and their affiliated organizations, the KMT’s bill calls for investigations and restoration and also compensation from the state to “victims.”
It also stipulates the honoring of the 1949 Battle of Guningtou and the 823 Artillery Bombardment in 1958 and a re-examination of their significance.
It urges compensation for Taiwanese comfort women and veterans who served in the Army 1st Special Forces and for Tokyo to pay reparations to those who paid war bonds during the Japanese colonial era.
The KMT bill would extend the period transitional justice would address to 1895, the year that Japanese colonial rule began.
Efforts targeting the Japanese colonial era should follow those dealing with the KMT authoritarian period, the draft says.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said he is glad that the KMT has presented its version of the bill, but that he expects the draft to be of “sufficient quality.”
The KMT might as well say transitional justice efforts should include the Qing and Ming dynastic periods and ask why then-Chinese secretary of state Li Hongzhang (李鴻章) signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, Lee said.
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