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President: Events to mark 70th anniversary of victory against Japan

2014/07/07 21:05:07

Taipei, July (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that he will ask relevant agencies to organize a series of events next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's victory in the war against Japan that ended in 1945.

Ma called for government agencies such as the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of National Defense to hold a series of events to commemorate the important occasion and preserve history.

"This is very important for Taiwan," he said.

He added that initiatives should include a permanent exhibition on Taiwanese women who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II -- when Taiwan was a colony of Japan (1895-1945).

Ma made the remarks at the opening of an exhibition in Taipei to mark the 77th anniversary of the Lugouqiao (better known as the Marco Polo Bridge) Incident, which is seen as the beginning of Japan's full invasion of the ROC in 1937 that led to the eight-year Sino-Japanese War.

The president also asked the Taipei city government to work with the central government to help the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation locate a place that can be used to display documents and artifacts related to the lives of the women forced into sex slavery, known euphemistically as "comfort women."

The foundation said it is still trying to find a suitable location to set up a permanent "comfort women" museum. It hopes that museum can be established in the near future, while the surviving women -- mostly now in their 90s -- are still alive.

Only five of the women from Taiwan who have spoken openly about their suffering at the hands of Japanese forces are still alive, the foundation noted.

The foundation has spent about two decades helping the former comfort women come to terms with the scars of the past and seek justice and compensation from Japan. Over 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army, according to the foundation.

(By Claudia Liu and Elaine Hou)