President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed regret that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not apologize over the “comfort women” issue in Abe’s statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Ma said during a meeting with a delegation from the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan that Abe mentioned words such as “aggression,” “colonial rule,” “calmly reflect upon,” “repentance” and “apology.”
Abe twice mentioned that “there were women behind the battlefields whose honor and dignity were severely injured,” Ma said.
“Regrettably, he did not offer an apology over the comfort woman issue,” Ma said.
The Republic of China government believes in the Japanese government’s willingness to reflect on its mistakes, but as a friend, we hope Japan will do more and do better in this regard,” he added.
“Comfort women” is a euphemism for women across Asia, including from Taiwan, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.
According to Ma, in 1996 the UN Human Rights Council determined after a special investigation that comfort women were military sexual slaves.
After that, the parliament of 30 countries including the EU passed resolutions to support the idea that Japan should apologize to the women, he said.
This shows that the matter has obtained international consensus and is a key issue if Japan wants to improve its relations with Southeast Asian countries, Ma said.
The documentary Song of the Reed (蘆葦之歌) records the stories of six Taiwanese comfort women, some of whom have died since the completion of filming in 2013, Ma said, adding that some of them are still waiting for the Japanese government to take further action.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of