Gov’t to return minefield land to Kinmen residents
The National Development Council (NDC) said that residents in Kinmen can request the return of land requisitioned by the military prior to 1971 for seeding with landmines.
With the ending of the military confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense instructed the Kinmen Defense Command to trace, defuse and remove all landmines deployed in 154 sites around the island between 1956 and 1992.
According to the NDC, the minefields, mostly in coastal regions, covered 307 hectares of land, and by June 2013, all had been removed.
Suggesting that the local government, while making development plans for the land, should take into consideration the rights of local residents to their land, the Ministry of the Interior drafted a revision of the Offshore Island Development Act, regulating conditions under which Kinmen residents can apply for the return of their land.
On May 26, a third reading of the revised act passed the Legislative Yuan and it was promulgated by the Presidential Office June 10.
According to the revised act, Kinmen residents wishing to get their land back should submit applications enclosed with the proper documents or credible proof of ownership from neighbors or magistrates to the Kinmen County Government’s land administration office within the next five years.