With the swift passing of time comes the fear that the past will soon be forgotten. But with the help of new technology, significant pieces of history—big or small—can be preserved for generations to come.
A testament to this is the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ production of five online videos that commemorate the 70th anniversary of Taiwan’s victory in the war of resistance against Japan during World War II.
Aimed to educate the youth, the videos offer a better understanding of Taiwan’s significant role in securing an Allied victory over the war and setting the world on the path of peace.
‘Snapshots of the War of Resistance Against Japan’ chronicles the events of the War of Resistance Against Japan from 1937 to 1945. Since its founding by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1912 as the first republic in Asia, Taiwan has sought to bring unity, peace and prosperity to the people of China. This goal suffered a setback in 1937 with Japan’s full-scale attack on China leading to the eight-year War of Resistance Against Japan. During this time, Taiwan under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek bore the brunt of Japanese aggression before emerging alongside the UK, US and USSR during WWII as a triumphant Allied power of equal standing.
‘Without the Republic of China’s Contribution, WWII Would Have Taken a Different Course’ revisits the contributions of Taiwan to WWII. Significant sacrifices of blood, materiel and treasure were made by the country in drawing off Japanese forces and buying time for the Allies to overcome the enemy in respective theaters of operation.
‘Three Overlooked Facts About WWII’ enumerates how people often overlook the invaluable contribution made by Taiwan in leading the nation’s War of Resistance Against Japan and helping the UK, US and USSR win WWII.
This video features Joe Eaton, an assistant professor of history at National Chengchi University in Taipei City. Eaton explains the sacrifices made by Taiwan under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek during the war. He also highlights the importance of the victory in freeing Taiwan and other Asian countries such as Korea from the shackles of Japanese colonialism (1895-1945) and helping establish the United Nations.
The last video goes further back into the ‘Settlement, Colonialism and Modernity’ in late 1600s Taiwan. The first settlers from Qing China arrived in Taiwan around 1684 seeking a better life. Taiwan was ceded to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki following the Qing’s defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). Following the end of 50 years of Japanese colonialism in 1945, the government laid down the foundations for economic and democratic developments that set Taiwan and its 23 million people on the road toward lasting prosperity.