Memorial must go: Taipei

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am

The Taipei county government yesterday gave a Japanese-friendly civic group a week to remove a controversial war memorial.

'The structure must be removed in a week since it was built without a proper licence,' said Tsai Li-chuan, an official with the county government.

She also apologised for the oversight that has led to uproar among Taiwanese angered by the memorial's presence.

The monument was built at scenic Wulai, with the help of donations from Japan, to honour aboriginal Taiwanese soldiers who were drafted by the Japanese army in the second world war.

Some of the stones tablets of the structure, inaugurated by former President Lee Teng-hui on February 8, are inscribed with Japanese characters that glorify the 'Great Soul of Japan' and pledge loyalty to the former Japanese emperor.

Ms Tsai said that the Kaosha Volunteer Soldiers' Memorial Association, which built the structure, had agreed to remove the memorial.

But Chien Fu-yuan, the association's president, said no such promise had yet been made.