The Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society, with the co-operation of the Ministry of National Defense, yesterday dedicated a new monument to commemorate senior Allied officers who were imprisoned by the Japanese in a prisoner of war (POW) camp in eastern Taiwan during World War II.
Ministry of National Defense officials, along with British and US officials based in Taiwan, attended the dedication ceremony in front of a military police base in Hualien, the former site of the Karenko POW camp.
The 401 POWs held captive in the camp between 1942 and 1943 included British, US, Australian and Dutch officers, said Michael Hurst, founder and director of the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society, the principal force behind erecting the memorial.
Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei Times
Taiwan was a colony of Japan from 1895 to 1945.
“For many years, I’ve had my eye on this site, hoping that one day we can build a POW memorial here,” Hurst said at the ceremony.
After the establishment of a POW memorial near the location of the Taihoku POW camp in Taipei’s Dazhi District in November last year, Hurst said earlier this year he proposed to the defense ministry that a new memorial be erected at the Hualien camp.
Having the memorial at the site will ensure that the stories of the POWs who suffered and died there “have not and will not be forgotten,” he added.
Family members of Britain’s Major General Merton Beckwith-Smith, who died at the Karenko camp on Nov. 11, 1942, traveled to Taiwan to attend the ceremony.
“It is wonderful to be in the place where he died,” said Joanna Reed, one of his granddaughters.
“[It was] a sad day in many ways,” Reed said with tears in her eyes, but she added that it was nice to see the environment in which her grandfather ended his days.
“It was very moving and it was a great tribute to our grandfather and the other prisoners of war who were interned here,” Anne Beckwith-Smith said.
Along with the monument, a sign was also erected telling the story of the camp.
More than 4,360 POWs were held in 14 camps around Taiwan, according to the POW Camps Memorial Society.
The event ended with a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial.
Established in 1999, the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society is dedicated to locating former POW camps.
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
BILINGUAL NATION 2030: Those interested can apply online, while recruitment would continue until all of the positions are filled, the Ministry of Education said The recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior-high schools would be expanded in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to become a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. In a statement, the ministry said that it has since 2004 hired 81 foreign nationals per year to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities to build a better English-learning environment for students. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, the number of foreign English teachers recruited would increase to 531, with some of them to be posted to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan