I was fight­ing for Ja­panese mother­land: Lee

Lee low­ers him­self, selling out Tai­wan: Ma


In a piece sub­mit­ted to a Ja­panese-lan­guage mag­a­zine to be pub­lished next month, for­mer R.O.C. Pres­i­dent Lee Teng-hui states that dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, he con­sid­ered him­self a citizen fight­ing for the Ja­panese mother­land.

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- jeou re­sponded later call­ing Lee’s re­marks “shock­ing, hurt­ful and re­gret­table.” He ac­cused the for­mer pres­i­dent of “selling out Tai­wan, hu­mil­i­at­ing its cit­i­zens and low­er­ing him­self with his state­ments pan­der­ing to the Ja­panese.” He de­manded that Lee re­tract the piece and apol­o­gize im­me­di­ately.

Lee wrote in the Voice mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle that he and his brother Lee Teng-chin openly vol­un­teered for the Ja­panese mil­i­tary to pro­tect their coun­try, Ja­pan. Lee’s brother died in com­bat and is in­terred at the Ya­sukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

Writ­ing on the con­tro­ver­sial is­sue of Ja­pan’s use of sex slaves dur­ing the war, Lee ques­tioned Ma’s mo­tives in es­tab­lish­ing a mu­seum in Tai­wan ded­i­cated to “com­fort women.” Lee said that the is­sues sur­round­ing com­fort women have been solved and do not need to be brought up again. He said that while he served as pres­i­dent 20 years ago, he had no im­pres­sion that Ma had men­tioned any­thing on the sub­ject.

He also lam­basted the pres­i­dent’s ac­tiv­i­ties in com­mem­o­rat­ing the R.O.C.’s vic­tory in the War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­pan as a way of cur­ry­ing fa­vor with main­land China. He said that Tai­wanese re­sponded in­dif­fer­ently to the 70-year an­niver­sary mil­i­tary pa­rade held last month in Hs­inchu. Lee added that top Ja­panese en­voy to Tai­wan Mikio Nu­mata’s nonat­ten­dance at the event was not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing Ja­pan and Tai­wan were then “of one na­tion.”

The for­mer pres­i­dent had harsh words for the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies to­ward China, call­ing the “1992 Con­sen­sus” that has served as the ba­sis for cur­rent cross-strait re­la­tions a “forgery.” He added that Ma’s haste to have Tai­wan join the China-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) “as a non-state en­tity” was “a joke.” He ar­gued that the AIIB would only bring ad­van­tages to large Tai­wanese cor­po­ra­tions heav­ily in­vested in China, and that a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive would be to join the U.S. led Trans-Pa­cific

Part­ner­ship (TPP).

Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice Re­jects

‘forgery’ Re­mark

Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen re­jected Lee’s as­ser­tion that the “1992 Con­sen­sus” was a forgery. He stated that a meet­ing chaired by Lee at the Na­tional Uni­fi­ca­tion Coun­cil ( ) in Au­gust 1992, as well as a ver­bal agree­ment be­tween mem­bers of the two cross-strait semi-of­fi­cial bod­ies charged with ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the two sides in­di­cated that the ex­is­tence of the “1992 Con­sen­sus” could be ver­i­fied.

In re­sponse to Lee’s state­ment on the “re­solved” is­sues sur­round­ing com­fort women, Chen urged Lee to watch the doc­u­men­tary film “Song of the Reed” ( ). Chen said that Ma’s ef­forts to sup­port for­mer sex slaves in Tai­wan was ev­i­denced by fundrais­ing events in the past as well as nu­mer­ous in­vi­ta­tions to sur­vivors to join him in the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice for tea and meals.

He added that the re­cent state­ment made by Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe ad­dress­ing Ja­pan’s ag­gres­sion in the Sec­ond World War fell short of ex­pec­ta­tions and that the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment needs to do more to ad­dress its history.

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