The Father of Taiwanese Identity – Hugo Restall

From Far Eastern Economic Review:

There are no paparazzi visible on the hillside above Lee Teng-hui‘s home in the Shihlin suburb of Taipei, but his aide points out where they stake out the house with their long lenses. While the former president is officially retired”two golf bags stand ready by the carport”he remains a political force to be reckoned with. Expelled from the Kuomintang party he once led, Mr. Lee is now the “spiritual leader” of a small party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, and he is still jockeying to expand its influence.

Dressed casually in a windbreaker, Mr. Lee is waiting in his living room, still looking younger than his 84 years. Japanese-style green tea and cakes are served, and Mr. Lee reveals that the cakes are from the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. He traveled to Japan for 11 days in May to accept a prize named after Shinpei Goto, a colonial administrator in Taiwan in the early 20th century, and while there he paid his respects at Yasukuni, where Japanese honor their war dead and the names of the militarist leaders who were executed for war crimes are also enshrined. [Full Text]

Hugo Restall is the editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review.

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