Ja­pan must ‘face up to his­tor­i­cal re­al­i­ties’: Ma


Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- j eou called upon the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment to “face up to his­tor­i­cal re­al­i­ties and in­tro­spect deeply” about its role in Sec­ond World War fol­low­ing an of­fi­cial state­ment made by Ja­pan’s Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe on the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of the con­flict, yesterday.

Ma’s state­ment was made through Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen (

), who said that the “wrongs com­mit­ted in the past could be for­given, but not for­got­ten.” Chen said that the pres­i­dent’s stance has al­ways been to dis­cuss in­ci­dents on their mer­its. While he sup­ported the tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise of Ja­panese spe­cial­ists dur­ing the coun­try’s colo­nial oc­cu­pa­tion of Tai­wan in de­vel­op­ing the is­land’s econ­omy, he also said that the Ja­panese im­pe­rial army’s war of ag­gres­sion and re­sult­ing loss of life to cit­i­zens and sol­diers of the R. O. C. was still caus­ing pain to sur­vivors.

The pres­i­dent stated that the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment’s “fore­sight and at­ti­tude of re­spon­si­bil­ity” on past ac­tions would help bring in­creased ef­forts at peace and co­op­er­a­tion with neigh­bor­ing Asian coun­tries.

In a na­tion­ally tele­vised ad­dress, Abe said that his coun­try in­flicted “im­mea­sur­able dam­age and suf­fer­ing” dur­ing World War II, though he stopped short of mak­ing a per­sonal ex­pres­sion of re­gret as his pre­de­ces­sors have done.

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