The government should increase pressure on Japan to offer compensation and apologies to Taiwanese “comfort women,” using the legal basis of the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.
Yesterday marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, when 50,000 Japanese Imperial Army soldiers entered the Chinese city after an eight-day defensive battle, Ma said, adding that it for six weeks indulged in systematic rape, pillage and raiding of the city.
More than 30,000 civilians were killed, one-third of the city was burned down and more than 10,000 women were raped, Ma added.
The incident was condemned by many nations and the Japanese government reacted by establishing “comfort women” centers to satisfy the sexual needs of its soldiers, Ma said.
Between 1937 and 1945, the Empire of Japan established more than 1,000 such centers, drafting women from Taiwan, China, Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia to become “comfort women,” using extortion, kidnapping and threats, Ma said.
There were 200,000 “comfort women” each from China and Korea, while between 1,200 and 2,000 were from Taiwan, Ma said, adding that more than 70 percent of these women perished on the battlefield.
The act seeks to address wrongs starting from Aug. 15, 1945, when former Japanese emperor Hirohito announced that the Empire of Japan accepted the terms of unconditional surrender as outlined in the Potsdam Declaration, Ma said.
However, the Japanese instrument of surrender was not signed aboard the USS Missouri until Sept. 2, and the Republic of China had not “reclaimed” Taiwan until Oct. 25 of that year, Ma said.
Between Aug. 15 and Oct. 25, Taiwan was still nominally under the rule of Japan and the government is obliged, as per the act, to aid Taiwanese “comfort women” in obtaining compensation and apologies from the Japanese government, he said.
The government is obligated by law to fight for the rights of the nation’s two surviving “comfort women,” Ma said, adding that he was certain the public would back any government action to see that these two women receive compensation and official apologies.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in