Visiting American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty went to the Legislative Yuan yesterday, where he appeared interested in a law passed last week to address the legacy of injustices by the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime.
Moriarty met with Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), Democratic Progressive Party legislators Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), as well as KMT Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁).
Su told reporters after the one-hour closed-door meeting that they talked about international and domestic situations, including Southeast Asia and Taiwan-US trade events.
They did not touch on contentious issues, such as US pork imports and Taiwan’s defense budget, but Moriarty was particularly interested in how the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), which was passed on Tuesday last week, would be implemented.
Moriarty was concerned the new law might cause a “desinicization” problem, Yu said.
Yu said she explained to Moriarty that the act was enacted to change or remove vestiges of the authoritarian administrations of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).
It has nothing to do with “desinicization,” she added.
Hsu said he told Moriarty that the KMT agrees with the law’s purpose, which is to have historic facts revealed and miscarriages of justice reversed, but does not agree with the law’s failure to include the plight of Aborigines and comfort women.
“The transitional justice law is selective,” Hsu said, adding that he hoped the law would promote social harmony and dialogue rather than triggering hostile confrontation.
Moriarty arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a week-long visit until Saturday.
It is his third trip to the country since his appointment as AIT chairman in October last year.
The Act on Promoting Transitional Justice covers the period from Aug. 15, 1945, when Japanese colonial rule ended, to Nov. 6, 1992, when martial law on the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu ended, following the lifting of martial law on Taiwan proper in July 1987.
The Executive Yuan is required by the law to establish an ad hoc committee to implement transitional justice measures set forth under the law, including the retrieval of political archives held by the KMT that could significantly add to understanding of the era.
The law requires the committee to produce a report on the history of the period, which is expected to take two years. It also makes it possible for individuals determined to have been unlawfully convicted during the period to ask for a retrial or to have their charges quashed.
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