5 Apr 2012


Next, our host turned to the history of Taiwan. “Taiwan was occupied by the Dutch and the Spanish. After that, we became a Japanese colony for fifty years,” he said.

Suddenly, the Japanese professor bowed and said, “I am very sorry.”

The host could not be more apologetic. “No, no, no, we didn’t mind at all.”

Friends from China would probably sneer in disgust if they were in the audience, and that would be polite. Sympathizing with invaders is no better than treason.

Nevertheless, born in another colony myself, I had no problem understanding their feelings. No doubt our cities were taken over for the wrong reasons. However, on both occasions the natives benefited much from the cultural influence and technological input. We also cannot help noticing how difficult it is to find a better local leader.

From another perspective, I was moved by the Japanese professor's response. But life really can be so simple. If Japanese leaders apologize, I am sure we will just say we do not mind anymore.

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