Taiwan’s wartime history must not be forgotten, academics and civic organization leaders said yesterday, as they invited the public to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the “Taipei Air Raid” (台北大空襲) with live music and a photography exhibition on Sunday.
Hosted by the Taiwan Nation Alliance (TNA) and Northern Taiwan Society, the commemoration event is to begin at 7pm in front of the Presidential Office Building on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard, with musical performances, video presentations and other activities.
Organizers said the event is to remember an important chapter in Taiwan’s history, which many Taiwanese have little knowledge about, adding that wartime memories and lessons must not be forgotten.
It is also to pay tribute to and remember the more than 3,000 Taipei residents who died during the air raid by US bombers over the city on May 31, 1945, during the final phase of World War II.
On that day, the US’ 5th Air Force sent 117 B-24 bombers to carry out the largest air raid ever on Taiwan. According to historians, the US bombers dropped 3,800 bombs on government buildings and military targets in Taipei, causing large-scale destruction to important facilities and civilian quarters, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths, with tens of thousands wounded or left homeless.
At yesterday’s press briefing, Northern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-shen (張葉森) said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has over the past seven decades tried to eradicate the memories and historical records of this event, because it wanted to erase Taiwanese history and impose the KMT’s version of a Chinese-centric history.
In conjunction with the event, a special exhibition on the Taipei Air Raid will be held for two weeks at the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum, showcasing photographs from the US National Archives in Washington, many of which will be on display in Taiwan for the first time.
“Many Taiwanese do not know about the air raid; even the older generation has mostly forgotten about it, because of the postwar rewriting of history by the KMT and its willful suppression to wipe out Taiwanese collective memory,” TNA deputy convener Chou Fu-nan (周福南) said.
Chou said the Taipei Air Raid was carried out by the US’ 5th Air Force, but the objective of the event is not to place a burden or seek responsibility for the fatalities and destruction, but to hold a commemoration “for Taiwanese to remember the past.”
“We must not forget our own wartime history,” Chou said.
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Deputy Secretary-General Liu Yi-te (劉一德) said the event is also to counter the KMT’s claim of victory over Japan in World War II.
He said the victory was an overall Allied effort of many nations, and the Pacific Theater was won chiefly on the dominant military might of the US.
During the Taipei Air Raid, the Office of the Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan (which later became the Presidential Office Building) was bombed and suffered damage.
The Army Headquarters, Taihoku (Taipei) Imperial University, Taipei Railway Station, Bank of Taiwan, Taipei High Court, Taipei Park and other important facilities were also hit.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number