Q:Hello I have a question :) If the Japanese did commit war crimes in Taiwan, why do the Taiwanese still like/revere them? Was it because they helped modernise the country and improved its infrastructure? Sorry if I got my facts wrong! Thanks!
Thanks for your question. The war crimes the Japanese committed were mostly against the First Nations peoples and western prisoners of war. Most ordinary Taiwanese in fact had no idea that these things happened as it was obviously not something the Japanese a) admitted to or b) publicised. That in part might account for the accommodation most Taiwanese came to in respect of the Japanese occupation. It is true that compared with the corruption and lawlessness under the Qing rule, the Japanese rule seemed modern, efficient and ‘safer’. At least, if you were not involved with politics or fighting for democracy and home rule, a Taiwanese could have grown up in relative peace and prosperity, and a select few even ended up studying at University in Japan like former President Lee. The Japanese stayed on the island for two generations and following their policy of language assimilation, many Taiwanese spoke both Japanese and either Hoklo, Hakka or Mandarin or First Nations languages. Taiwan developed an extensive road and rail network, schools and hospitals and industry, all of which were severely underdeveloped under the previous 200 years of Qing colonial occupation. Finally, I don’t think many Taiwanese ‘revere’ the Japanese. Today, some of the very old can speak Japanese if prompted but the main attraction is through consumption of Japanese electronics, manga, anime, Ghibli Studio characters etc, fashion and style and TV shows. Along side that, Korea is also a place Taiwanese draw inspiration from and are also interested in. It’s a complex story but basically Taiwanese have long moved on from the Japanese Colonial Period. What they aren’t being allow to escape from presently is the KMT’s ROC Colonial Period.
Q:Did Japan commit any crimes in Taiwan?
Yes. First, they committed war crimes against Taiwan’s First Nations peoples as well as forcibly relocate and split tribes. Secondly, they imprisoned and executed a number of Taiwanese who resisted Japanese occupation or tried to organise dissent against it. Third, they conscripted Taiwanese to fight in their war against China but then refused to recognise them, or return their remains, if they died in action. lastly, they implemented the Bao Jia system of policing in which the crime of one would merit punishment of their whole family. The fifty years of Japanese Occupation were pretty brutal in many respects. Unfortunately, the great tragedy for Taiwanese is that whereas many thought they were being liberated in 1945, in fact they were recolonised but this time by Chinese Nationalists rather than Japanese Supremacists. The Chinese blamed the Taiwanese for collaborating with the Japanese and sought to re-Sinofy them, by force, and with greater and sustained brutality than Taiwanese had experienced under Japanese Occupation. To this day, the KMT refuse to accept that the ROC is a Government in exile or a colonial project.
Q:In other words the islands legally belong to Japan?
Q:Hi, I just want to ask if you have ever been to Luxy? May I know what kind of music do they play inside? Is it just mando pop or do they have english hits too? Sorry if I sound ignorant as iIt will be my first time clubbing when I go to Taiwan at the end of the year.
I have been to Luxy once in 12 years. I honestly couldn’t tell you what kind of music they play but I imagine it will be a mix of hip hop, dance and trance. I suggest you ask alectointhunderland as she seems to be more knowledgable about these things.
Q:Is that power plant currently operating right now? How did they find out that they made a mistake?
I don’t have any more details right now. EVA was surfing the Taiwanese news wires last night and pointed it out to me. It should be in the TT tomorrow but if not I’ll find out more and post here at LfT.
Q:Do you have an opinion about Fo Guang Shan and the International Buddhist Progress Society? And/or about Venerable Hsing Yun and his political activities?
Wow!, What a question! I have a friend who this would certainly be better directed towards because he has studied in this area for his PhD. I simply don’t know enough about Fo Guang Shan and the International Buddhist Society to express a coherent or worthwhile opinion, but I do know a little about Venerable Hsin Yun who, in my books, is less a Buddhist and more an opportunist politician masquerading as a man of faith, and a craven shill for Beijing and the annexation of independent Taiwan into the authoritarian PRC. You can see some of his tasteless and offensive comments here.