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Lee on Colonial Rule: Being a Japanese Slave a Tragedy, but “Out Went the Dogs, in Came the Pigs”


Lee on Colonial Rule: Being a Japanese Slave a Tragedy, but “Out Went the Dogs, in Came the Pigs”    
Source: All Taipei newspapers    September 14, 2015
Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) has stated that Japan was his motherland and that Taiwanese never fought a battle against Japan during WWII, stirring up a controversy in Taiwan. 
Yesterday, during a speech delivered at an event held by Democracy Tautin (民主鬥陣), a group that participated in the Sunflower Movement in 2014, Lee stated that he understood that his recent remarks had drawn heavy criticisms in Taiwan. “Some say that I am Japanese. Some even threaten to file criminal charges against me over my remarks. However, I will say that Japan was also an alien regime. Being a Japanese slave was, in fact, a tragedy,” stated Lee.     
Lee added, “I was born, grew up and worked in Taiwan. My affections towards Taiwan are unchangeable. I once told Ryotaro Shiba (司馬遼太郎), a Japanese writer, about the tragedy of being Taiwanese. I am indignant about the fact that Taiwan has always been under the control of an alien regime. I hope that one day Taiwan will establish its own self-identity.”  
Lee stated, “For a long period of time, I have been thinking about how to transform the idea of ‘establishing Taiwan’s own self-identity’ into action.” 
Lee added, “Japan transferred sovereignty over Taiwan to the Republic of China (ROC) in October 1945. Some elder people call this ‘Taiwan’s retrocession.’ This was no retrocession. In fact, Taiwan was transferred from the Emperor’s Japanese empire to the one-party rule of the KMT. This was only a switch between two alien regimes. Four hundred years ago, Taiwan belonged to the island’s aborigines. They are the true indigenous people in Taiwan.”   
Parenthetically, in his new book “The New Road to Democracy (新台灣主張),” Lee cited the phrase “out went the dogs, in came the pigs (狗去豬來)” from the grassroots to describe the transfer of the sovereignty over Taiwan to the ROC at that time after Japan was defeated in WWII. “Dogs refer to Japanese who ruled Taiwan before WWII, while pigs refer to the Chinese from the Mainland.”  
Lee stated that, “Recently, there are two things that worry me the most. One is the meeting between US President Obama and PRC leader Xi Jinping (習近平), slated to be held at the end of this month. It is highly likely that Xi will use the occasion to exert pressure on the US government and demand that the US force the next President of Taiwan to accept the ‘1992 Consensus.’ The other is that if the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen wins the Presidential Election on January 16, 2016, nobody knows what tricks will the Chinese Communist Party and Ma Ying-jeou play during this interregnum until May 20th.”   

【Editor’s Note: It is common knowledge that during the Japanese colonial rule, the natives on Taiwan used to refer to their colonial masters as “four-legged,” meaning dogs. However, “pigs were not used to refer to the Chinese from the Mainland before the tragic “2/28 Incident” in 1947, nor was the expression on a massive scale. Sadly, it is the first time that a former ROC President used, or cited as he had claimed, that derogative expression in a book.】 

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