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  • Remember World War II history to promote peace: Ma

    Kaohsiung, June 19 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou visited Kaohsiung Veterans Home and had lunch with veterans on Friday, the eve of the Dragon Boat Festival.

    Many veterans living at the home witnessed the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), said Ma, ahead of a series of events being held by the government to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war from July 4 to October 25.

    The commemorative events are intended to condemn Japanese aggression and to promote peace, Ma said.

    Ma said the government signed a fishery pact with Japan in April of 2013, which settled to some extent a long simmering fishing controversy in the East China Sea near the Diaoyutai Islands (called the Senkaku Islands by Japan).

    Ma said Japan's aggression against China could be traced to the first Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and the treaty of Shimonoseki, an agreement that handed Taiwan and Penghu to Japan, in 1895.

    Japanese troops in North China staged the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 7, 1937, thus starting the eight-year war in China, Ma said.

    During the eight years from July 1937 to August 1945, there were 22 major battles, over 1,000 engagements and more than 38,000 skirmishes.

    More than 3.2 million Chinese soldiers and some 20 million civilians were killed, wounded or missing during the conflict.

    The Republic of China government moved from Nanjing to Taipei in 1949, the year the People's Republic of China was established.

    (By Cheng Chi-feng and Kuo Chung-han)