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  William Vocke    Special to The China Post
I heard Emperor Hirohito's gyokuon hoso (玉音放送, Jewel Voice broadcast) on Aug. 15, 1945. But like almost all of us in Taiwan who listened to what our emperor said, I didn't know the Divine Country of Japan surrendered to end the Great East Asian War. We believed Hirohito was urging us to do more to win the unwinnable war.
There has never been a caste system in China, though the "Middle Kingdom" used to have four classes of people. They were scholars (士), farmers (農), artisans (工), and merchants (商). Unlike in India, there were no untouchables in China, but in pre-modern Japan, where the same four characters were used to describe the four classes of people, the scholars were replaced by warriors, while lower classes of untouchables known as hinin (非人) and eta (穢多) existed.
Taipei's China Television CTV is serializing an epic of Yue Fei, the Southern Song general "serving the country with utmost loyalty (精忠岳飛)."
Since Ma Ying-jeou has to step down as president in two and a half years, Beijing is getting ready for the post-Ma Taiwan.
When Premier Jiang Yi-huah survived a no-confidence vote without much difficulty on Oct. 15, he said he hoped the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would be "ratified" before the end of this year. The agreement, signed in Shanghai on June 21 as a follow-up to the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) of 2010, has been stalled in the Legislative Yuan because the Democratic Progressive Party is historically opposed to any accord signed between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Some 120 academics and experts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait met for two days in Shanghai on Oct. 11 and 12. They exchanged views on relations between Taiwan and China at the first Cross-Strait Peace Forum, organized by China's National Society of Taiwan Studies and Taiwan's 21st Century Foundation along with 12 other think tanks.
The Democratic Progressive Party has finally opted for a no-confidence vote to topple Jiang Yi-huah, premier of the Legislative Yuan.
President Ma Ying-jeou appeared before Taipei district prosecutors last Thursday to testify in an official hearing of charges against Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming for revealing national security information prior to his Special Investigation Division's pressing charges of influence-peddling against former Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu.
Japanese children love to play a game called niramekko. It's a staring match, a game in which two children looking at each other and try to make the opponent laugh first. The child who laughs first loses.
It's true that the power of eminent domain is routinely used for the sake of land speculation in Taiwan, and has precipitated incidents such as the 2010 suicide of an elderly resident of Dapu, Miaoli County as well as the death of an apothecary whose body was found in an irrigation canal not too far away from his torn-down house this past Wednesday.
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