A Single Word Can Destroy a Nation: "Japanese Occupation" vs. "Japanese Governance"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 18, 2013
Summary: Leave aside any elevated debates about "Chinese History" or "Republic of China history." The fact is the Textbook Committee members are championing Pan Green Taiwan independence pseudo-history, rather than a true and honest history of Taiwan. A single word can destroy a nation. The facts of history must not be misrepresented.
Full text below:
Three publishing houses have prepared three versions of a high school history textbook. The Ministry of Education Textbook Committee has forbidden their publication. It has ordered them "reedited" because they include the term "Japanese occupation" instead of "Japanese governance" or "Japanese rule."
This is a long-standing controversy. In order to sell books, publishers have previously kowtowed to the Textbook Committee's authority. But in this instance, the authors and publishers have refused to allow history textbooks to misrepresent the nation's constitution and the nation's history, They have complained to the Control Yuan. They have refused to yield to political pressure. They have refused to teach pseudo-history
The dispute over "Japanese occupation" vs. "Japanese governance" has enormous symbolic significance. As the expression goes, "A single word can destroy a nation." From the perspective of Republic of China national history and the Republic of China Constitution, there can be no doubt. The correct term is "Japanese occupation." If the Textbook Committee wants publishers to use the the term "rule" or "governance," it should ask them to use the term "Japanese colonial rule," rather than "Japanese governance," especially not in textbooks. In particular, the Textbook Committee must not compel the use of the term "Japanese rule," even as it prohibits the use of the term "Japanese occupation."
Those who demand the use of "Japanese rule" argue that in 1895, when the Qing dynasty was defeated, it ceded Taiwan to Japan. Therefore Japan did not forcibly occupy Taiwan. Therefore Japan's actions should not be referred to as "Japanese occupation." But how can a naked war of aggression, initiated by Japan, that imposes an unequal treaty and occupies another nation's territory, be termed anything but a "Japanese occupation?" When, since the dawn of recorded history, have there been "historians" of this ilk, who fawn over their own oppressors?
Particularly perplexing is how those currently demanding the use of "Japanese governance," previously used the term "Japanese occupation" in their own master works. Now however, on their own initiative, they have concocted the term "Japanese governance." Now however, they have the effrontery to forbid others from using the term "Japanese occupation." Their chutzpah does not end here.
The fact is, the controversy over the term "Japanese occupation" and "Japanese governance" represents the conflict between the real history of the Republic of China and Taiwan independence pseudo-history. The history of the Republic of China records that during the First and Second Sino-Japanese Wars, Japan was the invading nation and China was the invaded nation. Hence the terms "Japanese occupation" and "Taiwan retrocession." Taiwan independence pseudo-history attempts to prettify Japanese colonial rule. Therefore it refers to the Republic of China as a "foreign regime." It euphemistically refers to Japanese occupation as "Japanese governance" and "Japanese surrender" as the "Conclusion of the War." This is plain and simple "History for Japanese Imperial Subjects." This is not Chinese History. This is not Republic of China History.
According to Taiwan independence pseudo-history, "Chinese history" and "Taiwanese history" are different. This has led to the so-called "Ming Zheng" controversy. The Ming dynasty was a Chinese dynasty. Taiwan independence pseudo-history yearns to sever the historical umbilical cord linking Taiwan to the Chinese mainland. Therefore it yearns to sever the relationship between the Ming dynasty and Zheng Chenggong, aka, Koxinga. Therefore it has banned the term "Ming Zheng." Instead, it mandates the term "era of Zheng rule." But even Japanese author Yomono Akara, in his eulogy to Zheng Chenggong wrote, "Zheng's loyalty was for naught. China eventually fell to the Tartars." As we can clearly see, Zheng's mission to "defeat the Qin and restore the Ming" was a defense of China, specifically Ming dynasty China. Moreover, Zheng represented Chinese orthodoxy. Taiwan independence pseudo-history would thoroughly "de-Sinicize" Zheng Chenggong. But what is that, other than blanking out the memory of one's ancestors?
The history of the Republic of China notes that in 1894, Japan launched a war of aggression against China. In 1945, China prevailed, and Japan retroceded Taiwan to China. Hence the intervening 50 years are referred to as the "era of Japanese occupation." The Constitution of the Republic of China is a "one China constitution." As Frank Hsieh proclaimed, Chinese people on both sides of the Strait share the same language. The terms "Chinese history," "Republic of China history," and "Taiwanese history," all refer to the history of a single country -- China. The terms "Chinese history" and "Taiwanese history" cannot be viewed as separate categories. Therefore, Zheng Chenggong "Ming Zheng." The Sino-Japanese War was a "war of aggression." Japanese aggression was followed by "Japanese occupation." Taiwan's eventual restoration to China was "Taiwan retrocession." The Chinese Civil War led to "cross-Strait divided rule." From beginning to end, "Chinese history" and "Taiwanese history" have been one and the same. They have been aspects of a single, indivisible nation's history. Therefore let us hear no more of "Japanese governance" pseudo-history, which would have us believe that Japan did not forcibly occupy Taiwan.
Taiwan independence pseudo-history and Taiwan independence spin control regarding the ROC Constitution, attempts to depict the Mainland and Taiwan as separate. But no one can turn back the clock. Realistically, the demands of Taiwan's survival make Taiwan independence impossible. Taiwan can survive only if it acknowledges China and the Republic of China. It can survive only if it acknowledges Chinese history and Republic of China history. Do Taiwan independence advocates really think they can rescue Taiwan independence from the ashes by banning the term "Japanese occupation?"
The facts of history must not be misrepresented. The United States and Japan have already substituted the term "sex slaves" for the euphemism "comfort women." They have replaced the terminology of the invaders with the terminology of those invaded. Yet some on Taiwan are demanding that "Japanese occupation" be changed to "Japanese governance." They are attempting to forbid any reference to "Japanese occupation" in the history texts. They are attempting to teach the official history of the aggressor nation, Japan. They are attempting to help the aggressor nation whitewash its aggression by means of pseudo-history. . Does the Textbook Committee include Shintaro Ishihara and Toru Hashimoto among its members?
The Textbook Committee argues that Chen family corruption has yet to be proven, therefore the Red Shirt movement must not be included in the history books. The Ministry of Education Textbook Committee may wish to conclude that Chen is not guilty by virtue of the fourth trial. But can it really use this as a pretext to censor the history of the Red Shirts? Leave aside any elevated debates about "Chinese History" or "Republic of China history." The fact is the Textbook Committee members are championing Pan Green Taiwan independence pseudo-history, rather than a true and honest history of Taiwan.
A single word can destroy a nation. The facts of history must not be misrepresented.
2013.07.18 04:35 am