KMT took first property in April 1947

By Chen Yu-fu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Sep 03, 2019 - Page 3

Less than four months after the 228 Incident, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) obtained its first group of 85 properties “transferred and appropriated” from the Japanese, the Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said on Sunday.

Taiwan was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945. The KMT government took over Taiwan after Japan lost World War II.

An investigation by the committee showed that in late April 1947, the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office, at the urging of the KMT’s central committee, sent the Executive Yuan in Nanjing and KMT director-general Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) a list of estimated prices at which the Executive Committee of the KMT Taiwan Province Chapter might obtain property held by the Japanese.

In June 1947, the Executive Yuan approved the request by the KMT Taiwan Province Chapter and instructed the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office to approve the chapter’s appropriation of 85 Japanese-owned buildings, the investigation showed.

One of the first 85 properties “transferred and appropriated” to the KMT, the Police Guest House (警察會館) — a Japanese colonial-era, three-story building in Taipei’s Akashicho — should have become a state asset after World War II, but it was taken over by the KMT’s Taiwan provincial chapter and turned into a party asset, an anonymous committee member said.

After the Taiwan provincial chapter moved to Taichung in 1957 and took the Taichung Public Hall (台中公會堂) as its office, the Police Guest House on Taipei’s Nanyang Street (南陽街) was transferred to the KMT’s Taipei chapter, the investigation showed.

The building was later sold by the KMT, turning a state property valued at NT$60 million (US$1.91 million at the current exchange rate) into private property, the committee member said.

The Japanese colonial-era Yorozuya Roykan (萬屋旅館) in Taipei’s Omotecho also became a KMT asset after World War II, the committee member said.

Also one of the first Japanese properties to be appropriated, the building was used to house KMT staff by the Taiwan provincial chapter, as well as for the Taiwan Daily (台灣日報), the committee member said, adding that the property had an estimated value of NT$8 million in the 1950s.

In Taipei’s Kyomachi, a Western-style building was used by the KMT as a “culture service club,” and in Taipei’s Hokumoncho, the Umeyashiki (梅屋敷) Japanese hotel and restaurant was used by the KMT for decades as the Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial House (國父史蹟紀念館) before being sold to the Taipei City Government for NT$600 million, the committee member said.

The first list of properties “transferred and appropriated” by the KMT also includes prime real estate in Taipei owned by Japanese, the committee member said.

“Without spending a penny, the KMT turned state property into party property,” the committee member said, adding that the KMT still refuses to pay the NT$850 million sought by the committee.