United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 6, 2015
Executive Summary: This year the world is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This year is also the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's victory over Japan, and the 70th anniversary of Taiwan's liberation from Japanese colonial occupation. Tomorrow is the 78th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which marked the outbreak of the war. The Chinese Communist Party is also attempting to take credit for defeating the Japanese. In response, the Ma government has organized a series of commemorative events, and invited veterans to take part in a parade. Alas, some on Taiwan are opposed to any such commemorations. Taiwan independence elements groups are denouncing the Allies for bombing Taipei. Textbook revisionists are objecting to the term "Japanese occupation". Taipei Mayor Ko allegedly said "Resistance to Japan is not something that should be commemorated", and canceled a commemoration of Japan's surrender at Zhongshan Hall. As it turns out, the event was merely postponed.
Full Text Below:
This year the world is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This year is also the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's victory over Japan, and the 70th anniversary of Taiwan's liberation from Japanese colonial occupation. Tomorrow is the 78th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which marked the outbreak of the war. The Chinese Communist Party is also attempting to take credit for defeating the Japanese. In response, the Ma government has organized a series of commemorative events, and invited veterans to take part in a parade. Alas, some on Taiwan are opposed to any such commemorations. Taiwan independence elements groups are denouncing the Allies for bombing Taipei. Textbook revisionists are objecting to the term "Japanese occupation". Taipei Mayor Ko allegedly said "Resistance to Japan is not something that should be commemorated", and canceled a commemoration of Japan's surrender at Zhongshan Hall. As it turns out, the event was merely postponed.
Criticism from all quarters show that the Republic of China is under siege, and history has been dropped into Orwell's "memory hole". On the Mainland, the CCP is attempting to claim credit for the victory against Japan, and is inciting anti-Japanese sentiment. The CCP took part in Russia's Red Square parade celebrating victory during World War II. The CCP ignored the fact that it was Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Republic of China, who led the fight against Japan. When the war against Japan was won, the People's Republic of China had yet to come into existence. Meanwhile, on Taiwan, Taiwan independence elements and the green camp can hardly wait to sever cross-Strait relations. Some even extoll Japan's colonial exploits. They have conveniently forgotten that Japan instigated this war for colonial empire, and that Taiwan's liberation from Japanese colonial rule was due to Chiang Kai-shek's victory. In short, the victory against Japan links the Republic of China to Taiwan history.
The public on Taiwan is befuddled about national identity. The problem did not arise overnight. It arose because lies were not refuted when they should have been, facts were not clarified when they should have been, truth was not defended when it should have been. This eventually led to public befuddlement over national identity. Disinformation ran rampant. Rifts among the public widened. Some are nostalgic for Japanese colonial rule. This is the result of subjective experience and emotional projection. It does not change the facts. Japan was the aggressor. It instigated the war. So why do so many Taiwanese identify iwth Japan? The ROC government led the eight-year war of resistance against Japan. It freed the people of Taiwan from Japanese colonial rule. Countless individuals on both sides of the Strait sacrificed their lives to achieve this result. But empty-headed Taiwan independence elements and green camp followers have lost touch with historical context and values. Yet they presume to hold forth on how "Victory against Japan is no cause for celebration".
This includes the Ma government, whose attitudes have been ambivalent, uncertain, and indecisive. This year, Beijing is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory against Japan in a grand manner. As a result, the Ma government has been criticized for not doing enough. In response, various ministries have sponsored activities. But the military recently held a display in Hsinchu. An ROC Air Force fighter displayed the number of Japanese planes it shot down. Japanese officals objected, and the markings were immediately removed. This angered those who supported the government's commemorative activities. The fighter commemorated historical facts. If we back down because Japanese officials apply pressure, are we not guilty of self-abasement?
The reaction of the green camp has been even more outrageous. The DPP said Taiwan never shot down any Japanese planes, so why are we marking them today? Does the DPP really not understand that these are not "Taiwanese" military aircraft, but Republic of China military aircraft? Does the DPP really not understand that Tsai Ing-wen is running for President of the Republic of China? Think about it. If not for the victory against Japan, Taiwan today would be a Japanese colony. What office would Tsai Ing-wen be running for? That of a Japanese colonial official, would she not?
Taiwan independence elements and green camp followers are ever so eager to sever cross-Strait links. They willfully tamper with school texts. They endlessly fabricate bizarre myths. For example, Taiwan independence elements have repeatedly denounced Allied forces for conducting "massive bombing raids on Taipei" in 1945. They claim that Taiwan was a "victim" of Allied forces. Therefore they ought not celebrate the victory over Japan. This argument inverts right and wrong and confuses cause and effect. The Allied bombing of Taipei was not directed against the people of Taiwan. It was directed against Japan's colonial empire and invaders who occupied government buildings and strongholds. Taiwan was used as a strategic base by the Japanese colonial authorities. That is why it was attacked from the air. Does the DPP really not understand the distinction?
Green camp talking head Cheng Hong-yi said his father was a Japanese soldier. Anti-Japanese armed forces were his father's enemies. Now the government is commemorating victory over Japan. "How do you think my father feels?" Cheng's view reflects a loss of historical perspective by someone pressed into service by Japanese colonial authorities. Cheng's father is not culpable for being a Japanese soldier. He and other Taiwanese soldiers were ordinary civilians coerced into joining the Japanese military. But distinctions must be made. The eight-year war of resistance against Japan and World War II were the result of territorial aggression by Japan, Germany, Italy, and others. These nations were responsible for the human catastrophe. One must distinguish between aggressors and their victims of aggression, between abductees and volunteers, between colonizers and the colonized. If one identifies with the invaders and colonizers, how can one affirm one's self-worth and identity? This includes historical revisionists who insist on substituting "Japanese governance" for "Japanese occupation". How does deliberately censoring colonial history accord with a "proud Taiwanese identity"?
The public on Taiwan is befuddled about national identity. It has forgotten ROC history. This is nothing new. A 70th anniversary commemoration of the victory over Japan may enable people to connect historical dots and fill in crucial gaps in their historical memories.
台灣脫離日本統治七十周年， 而明天就是七七事變抗戰爆發七十八周年紀念。 在中共爭搶抗日戰功的情況下，馬政府也舉辦了多項紀念活動， 並邀昔日參戰老兵參與閱兵。遺憾的是，台灣內部也出現一股「 反抗日勝利」的聲音：獨派團體大肆宣揚當年盟軍曾轟炸台北， 反課綱運動者堅不承認「日據」；此外，傳出柯市府以「 抗日有什麼好慶祝」為由取消在當初日本在台投降地中山堂的活動， 但事後證實只是延期。
以及歷史記憶遭到了多麼嚴重的清洗和淡忘。在對岸， 中共企圖爭奪對日抗戰首功的正朔地位，並呼喚反日情緒， 同時參加了俄羅斯慶祝二戰勝利的紅場閱兵；卻忘了， 當年領導抗日的是蔣中正領導的中華民國政府，抗日勝利時， 中華人民共和國根本還沒誕生。在台灣， 綠營和獨派急於切斷兩岸的關係， 甚至走火入魔想要回頭肯定日本的殖民功績；卻忘了， 日本是殖民帝國與戰爭發動者， 而台灣從日本殖民統治下解放出來的關鍵因素， 正是蔣中正領導的抗日戰爭勝利。簡言之，正因為抗日勝利， 串起了中華民國在台灣的歷史連結。
該反駁時不加反駁，該澄清時不予澄清，該堅持時放棄堅持， 正是造成社會認知逐漸模糊、異說不斷流行、裂痕日漸擴大的主因。 有人不能忘情於日本的殖民統治，這是個人際遇與情感投射問題； 然而，這絲毫無法改變日本是侵略者及戰爭發動者的事實， 為什麼還有台灣人願意認同？同樣的， 中華民國政府領導八年抗戰勝利， 讓台灣人民脫離了日本的殖民統治， 這是多少兩岸人民犧牲性命才換得的成果；淺薄如綠營與獨派， 自己脫離了歷史的脈絡及價值，卻在那裡奢談抗日勝利不值得慶祝。
正是因為北京要大陣仗慶祝抗日七十年，馬政府受到批評， 各部會才積極辦了一些活動。 但以國軍近日在新竹舉行的戰力展示為例， 空軍的紀念彩繪戰機原本塗上代表擊落日機架數的「功標」， 卻因日方稍事關切，「功標」立即遭到塗銷。如此一來， 反激起支持政府紀念抗戰的民眾不滿。 紀念戰機還原的就是當年歷史事實，若因日方施壓即退縮， 豈非自我矮化？
現在卻噴塗「功標」，不知所為何來。民進黨難道忘了， 這些並不是「台灣」的軍機，而是「中華民國」的軍機， 也就是蔡英文正要競選總統的那個「中華民國」。試想， 如果不是抗日勝利，如果台灣沒有脫離殖民， 今天蔡英文要競選的職位，恐怕是一個日本的殖民地官員吧？
更不斷創造出奇怪的論述。例如， 獨派最近不斷以盟軍在一九四五年曾經進行「台北大空襲」為由， 認為台灣是盟軍的「受害國」，因此，沒有必要慶祝抗日勝利。 這種論調，完全是本末倒置，混淆因果。事實是： 盟軍當年轟炸台北，並不是針對台灣人民而發， 而是針對殖民帝國兼侵略者的日本駐紮在台灣的機關和要塞， 台灣則是遭日本殖民用作戰略地位的角色遭到空襲。其間差異， 天差地別，豈可不加辨別！
抗日部隊是與他父親為敵，現在政府要紀念抗戰勝利，「 你覺得我爸爸心情怎樣？」這種說法，是以「被裹脅的個人」掠奪「 歷史是非」的一種詭辯。當日本兵，並不是鄭父的錯誤， 他和其他台灣兵都是遭到日軍脅迫而從軍的小民。但必須區別的是， 從八年抗戰連結到二次大戰的血腥源頭，正是始自當年日、德、 義等國的野心侵略，才會有這場人類的大災難。如果不能分清侵略／ 被侵略、裹脅／志願、殖民／被殖民的關係， 而甘於認同侵略者與殖民者，如何能認清自己的價值與身分？ 包括反課綱人士堅持要以「日治」代替「日據」， 刻意抹煞台灣遭到殖民的歷史，這又置台灣的主體性於何地？