This is the story of the Japanese prisoner of war camps on the island of Taiwan (Formosa) during the Second World War and of the men who were interned in them.
It seems that many people know about the hardship and suffering of the POW's working on the Death Railway in Thailand and Burma, but few know about the "hell-camps" of Taiwan. We hope to tell the story of the suffering and deprivation endured by the POW's so that all will know - and hopefully never forget!
Our site contains descriptions of the prison camps, a detailed list of all the former prisoners, an honour roll of those who died, and the story of the
Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society.
Taiwan’s 7th FEPOW Day event will take place once again at the SPOT THEATRE 2nd Floor Meeting Room on Saturday evening August 9th. The SPOT THEATRE is located at No. 18 Chungshan N. Rd. Sec. 2, downtown Taipei.
As in previous years there will be a display of WWII POW and military artifacts; we will have a short memorial service to remember the POWs, and then the movie “The Railway Man” will be shown.
This much-acclaimed film tells the story of former POW Eric Lomax and his quest for release from his wartime sufferings and the Japanese interrogator who had caused them. It is based on the true story from a book of the same name written by Lomax in 1995.
Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) star in the film.
Following the showing of the movie there will be a short break and then the 40-minute documentary “Enemy My Friend” will be shown. This film shows the actual reunion of Eric Lomax and Takashi Nagase and is a supplement to the feature film. It’s a double-feature film night you won’t want to miss. The program should finish by 10 pm.
Everyone is invited to our event, and we expect to have a good turnout, but space is limited to a maximum of 70 persons so reservations are a must this year. Please kindly let us know by email as soon as possible if you’re planning to attend so we can reserve a seat for you.
The deadline for reservations is set at 9 pm Wednesday August 6th.
There is no charge for this event, and refreshments will be available.
This film is not suitable for young children under 15 and there are no Chinese sub-titles.
Doors open at 5:30 pm and the program begins sharp at 6:00 pm. Please be on time!
Note: If you reserve and then find that you are unable to attend, please inform us so that we can give your seat to someone else. Thank you.
TAIWAN POW GATHERING IN THE UK
FEPOW friends and family members in South Shields, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne are holding a gathering of former Taiwan prisoners of war and their immediate family members from September 12 – 15, 2014.
It will be a weekend for POWs to renew acquaintances with old comrades, and for those family members who attend, this will be a chance to meet POWs and learn more about their experiences as prisoners of the Japanese in Taiwan during WWII.
The event will begin on Friday evening with the opening dinner, and there is a special activity planned for Saturday, followed by a dinner and fellowship time in the evening. Sunday morning will feature a Remembrance Service and then lunch and a time of fellowship in the afternoon. The closing banquet takes place in the evening. The reunion will close Monday morning.
The basic fee for the reunion is £45.00 per person which is payable on booking, and the hotel rates are as follows: Single - £59.00, Double/twin - £69.00 and Family Room £72.00 – all rooms include breakfast. Hotel space is somewhat limited, so please reserve early. The deadline for registration is Friday August 15, 2014.
For more information and to register please contact: Mrs. Eileen Bacon by Email: alistnanas (at) gmail.com
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE TAIWAN POW SOCIETY – all inquiries and bookings should be sent direct to Mrs. Bacon.
ANNOUNCING THE 17th ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE WEEK EVENT
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATIONS - JULY 31ST
This year's Remembrance Week Event will take place from November 5 – 12, 2014.
As usual, we will have visits to the former POW camp sites complete with memorial services, local sightseeing tours, and the Remembrance Day service at the Taiwan POW Memorial on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in Jinguashi.
We invite and encourage former POWs, their family members and all friends and supporters to be with us this year. More information will be forthcoming later in the year, but those wishing to participate should contact us as early as possible to register for the program.
Please have a look at our "POW CAMP TOURS" page for more information on visiting Taiwan.
Democracy took root in Japan nearly 70 years ago after the end of World War II. Who would have thought that someone could overturn it so easily? But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has done just that !
For the past many months we have featured articles on the homepage regarding the sweeping changes taking place in Japan under the new LDP government of Shinzo Abe and his Right Wing extremists.
We have shown from reports and studies, first hand news accounts and references, how the Abe government wants to return to the extreme Right Wing policies of former times, how they want to rescind the so-called apologies made by former prime ministers and renounce the previous stand on the Comfort Women, now saying that they were simply prostitutes and that they were necessary and that they were not co-erced or forced by the Japanese military to perform services for the troops. They want to re-write Japan's pacifist constitution in order to make it possible for Japan to wage war again, and more alarmingly, they want to limit or abolish human rights and freedoms, so they can persecute those who differ with their opinion or who want to peacefully gather in protests. If one looks back at the history of the 20th Century, one can clearly see that these were also the policies adopted and propagated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis when they came to power in Germany 81 years ago in 1933!
We have removed the bulk of the articles from the homepage - except for the most recent developments - as we want to feature other things, but for those who are interested, please CLICK HERE to read the series of articles which reveal the startling changes which have taken place, and which will continue to take place in the near future under this extreme regime. Things have happened so fast in Japan in the past 1 1/2 years that is has been hard to keep up.
Abe hijacks democracy, undermines the Constitution
JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE - JUNE 21, 2014
BY JEFF KINGSTON
SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
By short-circuiting the democratic process, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is abusing the trust put in him by the people. His initiative to reinterpret Article 9 of the Constitution to lift constraints on the Japanese military and permit collective self-defense is the most recent example of how Abe is trampling on Japanese democracy. He and his supporters both in Japan and the U.S. assert that Article 9 is outdated and it is essential that Japan take on a more assertive military role to deal with rising regional threats. These advocates of a more muscular Japanese security posture point out that Japan lives in a dangerous neighborhood and that the limits on Japan’s military actions will undermine the U.S. - Japan alliance. Thus in their view, there is an urgent need to allow Japan to participate in military action involving collective self-defense. Read the complete article...
NOW THE LATEST - HE'S DONE IT! --- Abe rescinds "no war" clause in the constitution!
On July 1, the Abe Cabinet approved a document that revises the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense - which really means that now Japan can 'legally' - as far as they are concerned - go to war again. It came merely six weeks after Abe said he was "considering" doing so. Looking back on the process, we have to say that the Abe administration has TOTALLY undermined the nation's democracy!
Incredible as it is for a law-abiding nation, Abe skipped the due process for revising the Constitution and forced his way after discussions by the ruling coalition parties that treated the policy shift as a foregone conclusion.
Click on this link - http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201407030035 to read how Abe has just changed the constitution without proper governmental procedures, and despite the protests of the Japanese people.
Japan is starting to resemble more and more NAZI Germany in 1933 - and Abe is becoming more like Adolf Hitler every day. Disregarding the constitution and the will and rights of the Japanese people, Abe and his Right Wing extremists have in the past year and a half undermined the very core of Japanese democracy by changing laws and restricting freedoms as they impose their totalitarian will on the country with complete disrespect for the people. It seems that 80 years later, and on the 70th anniversary of WWII peace, that things are coming full circle once again! Will history repeat itself - will we EVER learn? To the Japanese people we say once again "BEWARE OF THE RIGHT WING MILITARISTS" who ruined Japan in World War II - and by the way, where is Emperor Akihito in all of this - just a "supposed" powerless puppet once again?
On June 29, 2014 a man set himself on fire in Tokyo to protest PM Abe Shinzo’s bid to lift constitutional constraints on Japan’s military forces, and in subsequent days tens of thousands of citizens gathered outside the prime minister’s residence to loudly protest this initiative. Opinion polls, even those conducted by reliably rightwing news organizations, indicate widespread opposition to his 'renunciation of pacifism' and very little support for collective self-defense (CSD).
The mainstream media all but ignored this - the most extraordinary act of political protest in Japan in a quarter century. NHK news, the government broadcaster, didn’t even mention the event, apparently playing by Pyongyang rules: ignore any ugly truths that might discredit the powers that be. It looks like censorship of the media has already begun!
Abe has unshackled the so-called Japanese 'Self Defense Forces', and over 60 % of Japanese say that Japan is now more likely to get sucked into a war. He is getting his way by making a mockery of Japanese democracy in bypassing established procedures for amending the Constitution, doing it by the backdoor of 'edict' rather than the front door of 'revision' - as provided for in the Constitution.
Sabotaging Article 9 by decree bypasses established procedures for revising the Constitution that require two thirds approval in both chambers of the Diet and majority support in a national referendum. Reinterpretation is thus seen to be a dubious ploy to sidestep these procedures that flouts democratic principles. As such, Abe has acted like a thief in the night, stealing the heart and soul of Japan’s pacifist Constitution.
The conditions for engaging in so-called "Collective Self Defense" are so vaguely defined that they amount to a blank check for Japanese military action and waging war, and the bottom line is that many Japanese now believe that Abe is more of a threat to Japan than China or North Korea. Even with the threats from those two neighbouring countries, it appears that by a vast margin they fear Abe even more - and so they should!
Strangely and sadly, Washington has welcomed Abe finally achieving what it has been pressuring Japan to do for the past half century. There appears to be little concern to Americans that Abe’s underhanded methods discredit his constitutional coup and demean Japanese democratic principles; as usual, for America - the end justifies the means!
Isn't it also worthy of note how much the US Gov't. has changed in its stance towards Japan? Pres. Roosevelt - also a Democrat - said in two parts of his famous speech to Congress when referring to Japan's unprovoked and surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the other areas in Asia, "... always will our whole nation remember the character of this onslaught against us", and further on, "... we will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us". With the postwar formation of Japan's "formerly pacifist" constitution, that was assured - but not anymore!
Now it seems that Pres. Obama and the US gov't. are pleased that Japan is able to take up arms and go to war again, and it appears that the US has forgotten about that "onslaught against us", and has just opened the door so that Japan can once more "endanger those it does not like or agree with, or worse yet, engage in its territorial demands in the Pacific by military means and force". Japan's Right Wing extremist gov't hasn't really changed at all in their stance since WWII and Abe is seeking to bring even more of the old ways back again. How soon we forget the past - are we destined to repeat it? Now, just watch those islands disputed by Japan and China, Korea and Russia in the days to come!
July 1, 2014, the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the SDF, will go down in history as a watershed in postwar Japan, a 21st century "day of infamy" when Abe hijacked democracy by renouncing Article 9 and the nation’s pacifist postwar order in an unscrupulous manner, achieving by fiat what he didn’t dare try through established constitutional procedures. Apparently Abe fears the people as much as they fear him. Read the article by Jeff Kingston here...
June 25, 2014 - Spring-Summer 2014 Society Newsletter uploaded to the site. Click here or go to the Society Section and click on the newsletter in the Newsletters box.
May 20, 2014 - Collection of articles and reports on Shinzo Abe and his Right Wing Gov't. and their return to former WWII attitudes and the downfall of Japan's democracy under this regime. Click here to read the articles which are constantly being updated.
March 3, 2014 - Addition of the "Remembrance Day at Kinkaseki" slide show - link on the homepage and story in the Articles & Stories Section.
March 2, 2014 - Update to "Asian War Graves and Memorial Photos Available Free" article in the Articles & Stories Section and on the homepage.
February 13, 2014 - Updates to almost all of the articles and stories in the Articles & Stories Section with more information as well as addititional and enlarged photos. In particular the articles on the hellships, the further Japanese atrocities and the memorial to the American airmen at the old Taipei Prison, the Other Commonwealth POWs and the forgotten South Africans.
January 20, 2014 - Addition of the new "Taiwan POW Camps Tour" page to the website. See the main menu on the left side of the homepage.
January 2, 2014 - Update to the "Shirakawa POW Camp" listing in the Camps section.
January 2, 2014 - Update to the article "The Memorials for the Taiwan POWs" - to include the new Shirakawa POW Memorial - in the Articles & Stories section.
December 2, 2013 - "17 Years of Researching, Remembering and Honouring the Taiwan POWs" - in the Articles & Stories section.
We would like to remind our viewers that this is a work in progress so be sure to check back often.
In 2009 six former Taiwan POWs returned to Taiwan to join in the annual Remembrance Day service at Kinkaseki. Society supporter and good friend Chen, Hsiao - Fang produced a slide show of the event and we invite you to watch it and remember these men to whom we owe a debt that can never be repaid. Click here to view the presentation.
Lest We Forget!
LISTEN TO THE POWS' STORY
Society director Michael Hurst is featured in two radio interviews with Radio Taiwan International. We invite you to:
To listen to these programs click the links below -
Do you need a photo of a loved ones' grave or name on a memorial in the Far East?
Welcome to the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP.
We are a group comprised of FEPOW organizations and researchers located in the Far East and we are dedicated to providing good quality photos of war graves and the names on the various memorials from the war cemeteries located all across Asia - FREE OF CHARGE - with the sole aim of keeping the memory of the veterans alive, so present and future generations will not forget the sacrifices they have made so far from home.
We specialize in photos of the names on all the memorials across Asia. We have all 25,000 names on the SINGAPORE / KRANJI MEMORIAL, all 27,000 names on the TAUKKYAN / RANGOON MEMORIAL, as well as all the other memorials such as SAI WAN, YOKOHAMA and LABUAN. We are happy to be able to supply names from all the memorials as well – FREE of CHARGE!
Read More ...to find out further information on the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP, the war cemeteries and memorials covered, and the other services that are provided - FREE OF CHARGE!
We are pleased to announce that since the creation of the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP in JULY 2012, we have distributed over 12,300 FREE war grave and memorial photos!
Another great source for FREE worldwide War Grave & Memorial photos . . .
An excellent organization in the UK with a website offering thousands of FREE war grave and memorial photos worldwide is British War Graves - War Graves Photographs. Founded and operated for over 10 years by Mick McCann in the UK, the site provides free photos for almost all the world’s war cemeteries and more.
Click here for more information on free war grave and memorial photos and to visit their website.
The Society is urgently seeking information regarding the Taiwan POWs who were evacuated on September 6, 1945 on the aircraft carrier USS Santee CVE-29, and the Destroyer Escorts USS Brister DE-327 and USS Finch DE-328. We are trying to compile lists of the men transported to Manila on these ships and have been searching various archives to try to find the ships' deck logs, but so far nothing has turned up. If there are any former crew members of these ships who know of the lists that were made and where they might now be, please kindly get in touch with us.
We would also like to hear from former POWs and their families if they have any knowledge that their relative or anyone they knew sailed on any of these three ships. We would be very grateful for any help we can get.
USS Santee - CVE-29 USS Brister - DE-327