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
Presidential Office Rejects
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.