DPP: Taiwan Nativization and Japanese Colonialism
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
February 7, 2014
Summary:The DPP cannot find its way out of its
self-made Sinophobic maze. It can only invoke Orwellian euphemisms in
history texts to blind itself to the ugly realities. It has embarked on
this path of self-deception. It is forcing itself to continue down this
Japanophile path of no return. In the end, any mention of Taiwan's
victimization at the hands of Japanese colonialism must be obliterated.
DPP officials forbd themselves to even utter the words "Japanese
occupation." They forbid themselves any mention of a "colonial subject
mentality." This reveals the pathetic extent of DPP ignorance. Look at
East Asia. Look at the many countries that suffered bitterly under
Japanese oppression. Now look at the DPP's uncritical Japanophilia. Is
this not a bizarre take on world history?
Full text below:
The senior high school history curriculum recently underwent some minor modifications. The main purpose of the modifications was to correct old texts which prettified Japanese colonialism. Who knew the move would touch off a violent reaction from the DPP? The DPP Central Standing Committee passed a resolution demanding that six counties and municipalities headed by Green Camp officials reject the new curriculum and continue using the old textbooks.
This happens to be an election year. The DPP is seizing upon any issue it can to indulge in obstructionism and to incite political conflict. It is not hard to understand their motivation. But is the DPP doing the right thing by opposing the history curriculum? It is not.
Let us scrutinize the modifications to the senior high school history curriculum. It changed "China" to "Mainland China." This touched a sensitive nerve in the DPP, with its deep rooted Sinophobia. Other significant amendments focused on Japanese aggression against the rest of Asia, including colonial rule in Taiwan. It changed "era of Japanese rule" to the more historically factual "Japanese colonial era." It described Japan's exploitation of the "comfort women" as "coerced." It described Japan's ambition to establish a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" as "aggression." These words appear in the history texts of every nation in East Asia. It is an objective description of historical fact. So why is the DPP alone determined to prevent the next generation from learning the truth from history texts on Taiwan?
Was Japan's 50 year rule over Taiwan really not colonialism? Were there really no armed crackdowns across the country? Were Taiwan's precious resources really not "plundered?" Japan abducted women from Taiwan and Korea. It turned them into "comfort women." Were the women really not "coerced?" Are we to really supposed to believe that these women volunteered to be sex slaves? Japan initiated the war. It trampled over Mainland China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, the Philippines, Burma, French Indochina, and even the Dutch East Indies. Were such actions really not "aggression?" Was this really a "peaceful unification" of Greater East Asia? Did these countries willingly surrender their own land?
The DPP has long waved the banner of "nativization," in order to challenge the KMT, which is denounces as a "foreign regime." This strategy has handed the DPP many successes. As a result it sees intensified "native consciousness" on Taiwan as a positive development. But using "native consciousness" to demonize the KMT and Mainland China, and to pursue Taiwan independence, is an entirely different matter. Wantonly distorting history in order to promote Sinophobia and intentionally prettifying Japanese colonial rule on Taiwan in order to vilify KMT rule, is an entirely different matter. The problem with the DPP is that it confuses subjective whim with objective fact. It distorts objective reality in order to realize its subjective desires. This is classic "ostrich with its head in the sand" behavior.
The DPP's equation of "nativization" with Sinophobia is now second nature. This is bad enough. But now it is conflating Sinophobia with apologism for Japanese colonialism. What sort of voodoo logic is this? Does the DPP even remember its raison d'etre as a "nativist" political party? In order to incite Sinophobia, it is now prettifying Japanese colonialism. It is willfully blindfolding itself, Worse, it is willfully blindfolding the next generation. It is afraid to even utter the word "colonialism." It is afraid to even utter the word "aggression." It is afraid to even utter the word "retrocession." It is afraid to even admit that the "comfort women" were coerced. What happened to the DPP's assertions of Taiwan's "primacy?" What sort of historical foundation is Taiwan's post-colonial experience supposed to be built on? Little wonder the DPP has behaved as it has during the Diaoyutai Islands sovereignty dispute in the East China Sea. It has shrilly condemned both the KMT and the CCP, but it has not uttered a single word of condemnation for Shinzo Abe's territorial expansionist ambitions.
The changes to the senior high school history curriculum eliminate flagrant DPP era prettification of Japanese colonialism. Mostly it fine-tunes the text. It even gives "Japanese rule," which is an absurd euphemism for Japanese occupation, a free pass. Predictably however, the DPP has threatened to wage open warfare on "three major battlefields." These include the Legislative Yuan, the streets, and six counties and muncipalities presided over by Pan Green officials. Su Tseng-chang even boasted that Taiwan has finally emerged from the authoritarian era of "education in the service of politics," and that Taiwan must never be allowed to go back. Ironically, his declaration amounted to a slap in the DPP's face. A dozen or so DPP Central Standing Committee members hand down an arbitrary order from on high. They order these counties and municipalities to adopt this or that textbook. How is this not "education in the service of politics?" How can a self-absorbed and lost DPP compel students to unconditionally obey their edicts?
The crux of the problem is the DPP cannot find its way out of its self-made Sinophobic maze. It can only invoke Orwellian euphemisms in history texts to blind itself to the ugly realities. It has embarked on this path of self-deception. It is forcing itself to continue down this Japanophile path of no return. In the end, any mention of Taiwan's victimization at the hands of Japanese colonialism must be obliterated. DPP officials forbd themselves to even utter the words "Japanese occupation." They forbid themselves any mention of a "colonial subject mentality." This reveals the pathetic extent of DPP ignorance. Look at East Asia. Look at the many countries that suffered bitterly under Japanese oppression. Now look at the DPP's uncritical Japanophilia. Is this not a bizarre take on world history?
2014.02.07 02:13 am