TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on August 15th , the Republic of China believes in Japan's willingness to reflect on its past mistakes, but he hoped Tokyo will "do more and do better" in dealing with its aggression during World War II, especially on the issue of "comfort women."
Noting that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed remorse for Japan's aggression during the war in a talk marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Ma said that the ROC government believes Japan is willing to reflect on its past actions.
The president made the remarks in a speech at the opening of an exhibition in Taipei featuring the ROC's 1945 victory in the War of Resistance against Japan and the retrocession of Taiwan in the same year, which ended Japan's 50-year colonization of the island.
Ma said the Japanese prime minister touched on many of the words that have been the focus of attention for many of the region's countries that suffered from Japan's aggression, but Ma said Abe chose to address them in a different way than his predecessors. This has drawn mixed views, Ma said.
Looking back to history of wartime, Ma said, Japanese militarists grabbed Taiwan 120 years ago, occupied northeastern parts of China 84 years ago and launched an all-out invasion into China 78 years ago -- the start of the ROC's eight-year war against Japan.
That war was part of WWII, in which Japan and the other Axis Powers were defeated by the Allied Powers.
During that period of time, as many as 23 million Chinese soldiers and civilians died. The conflict also caused property losses amounting to hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars, Ma said, adding that the ROC suffered the most from Japanese aggression during World War II.
Following his speech, Ma also toured the exhibition, which includes an array of historical photos and mock-ups of wartime structures, such as an air raid shelter.
The exhibition is running through Nov. 28 at two venues: the Academia Historica and the Armed Forces Museum. It is co-organized by the Academia Historica, and the ministries of national defense and education.