“Taiwan is japan’s life community”, former President Lee Teng-hui, has a feeling for Japan. July 31, 21:15
When Taiwan’s president, Lee Teng-hui, came to Japan in 2015, he spoke of his feelings for Japan in Japanese in a solo interview with NHK.
In this context, President Lee answered that he had received a good education as a Japanese until the age of 22, referring to the source of his feelings for Japan, and said, “Taiwan must have the idea of ‘freedom and democracy’ that Japan has.”
Regarding Japan’s role in Asia, he said, noting that China is increasingly claiming its own territorial rights over the Senkaku Islands and the South China Sea in Okinawa Prefecture. It is important for Japan to take the initiative in resolving what the United States cannot do.”
On the other hand, regarding the relationship between Japan and Taiwan, he said, “Japan’s cabinet and leaders have not emphasized much of their views on Taiwan. I also had a lot of trouble,” he said, reflecting on the fact that visa issuance was not approved when he wanted to visit Japan to treat his illness, and said, “I think we should have the idea of actively promoting the relationship between Taiwan and Japan.”
On top of that, he stressed the need to strengthen relations, saying, “Taiwan is a japanese life community, and there is a strong aspect that we must rely on Japan.”
Experience under Japanese rule has a great impact on life
President Lee Teng-hui was born near Taipei in 1923, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, and after graduating from the former Taipei High School, he moved to Japan and entered Kyoto Imperial University and present-day Kyoto University.
During the Pacific War, he joined the former Japanese Army and ended the war in Japan. At that time, he called himself “Masao Iwasato” and in his book, he said, “I myself was born and raised in Japanese education, so that sense of values is ingrained in the bones. I have no doubt that the advanced education of Pre-War Japan became the basis of my thought and knowledge today.”
President Lee cited Nitobe Inazo as one of his beloved figures and has published a book on Nitobe’s book, which introduces Japan’s “Bushido” to the world.
In this statement, President Lee said, “I love and respect Japan and躬 the Japanese people because I believe that the essence of “Yamato soul” that values ‘Japanese spirit’, that is, ‘righteousness’, and takes the initiative and practice with ‘sincerity’, and continues to believe that it survives in the spirit of ‘Bushido’.” He emphasized that it was because he had a reverence and trust in Bushido to carry out his own actions.
Frequent visits to Japan after retiring from the President
Since retiring as president in 2000, Former President Lee Teng-hui has visited Japan frequently, and he has visited Japan nine times, two years before his last visit, in 2018.
After retiring, I visited Japan for the first time in 2001 and visited Okayama Prefecture to receive treatment for heart disease.
In 2004, he visited Nagoya, Kanazawa, Kyoto, and other places and was reunited with his alma mater, Kyoto University.
In 2007, in addition to realizing matsuo Basho’s long-standing journey around the “Oku no Hosomichi”, he visited Yasukuni Shrine, where his brother, who was killed in action off the coast of Manila in the Philippines as a soldier of the former Japanese army in World War II, visited Yasukuni Shrine in 1945, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule.
The last time I visited Japan was in 2018, two years ago, and I attended the unveiling ceremony of a memorial to commemorate the people from Taiwan who died in the war at the Peace Memorial Park in Okinawa Prefecture.
On the other hand, in 2002, President Lee applied for a visa on the grounds that he would give a lecture at Keio University’s school festival, but the executive committee that organizes the school festival canceled the lecture, so he withdrew the application.
After that, in response to the movement to change the venue, we considered applying for a visa again, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave up visiting Japan because it indicated that it would not approve it even if there was a re-application.