Cover Photo: The Taiwanese ambassador with WWII veterans ©WhereNYC
Bottom line: It was a very interesting reception with a generous supply of wine and food. I found the upstairs photo exhibit very moving, but I had a problem with the original “Anti-Japanese War” title on the invite.
Review: After a long work week, I was in the need of something cultural. I headed to the de-facto Taiwanese (ROC) consulate or better known as TPECC to check out their exhibit, film screening and reception to commemorate the end of the Sino-Japanese war. On the whole, it was a very evening, with some very moving speeches, hommage to Second World War veterans, some of whom were present, and meeting some of the local city councilmen and state senators who joined the ceremony. I got to chat with the ROC ambassador and toured the photo exhibit.
I had only one issue, and it was kind of a big one. The original title “The 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Japanese War and Taiwan Retrocession”, which seemed extreme to me. Indeed, I know about the war atrocities of the Imperial government and army inflicted on its victims from neighboring countries and POWs, but Japan today is a far different nation, and although it has ‘informal diplomatic ties’ with Taiwan, many Japanese are highly sympathetic to the Taiwanese people in the face of the Beijing who has over 2,000 missiles pointed at it. Personally, I was a little annoyed by this as I have family in Japan, but at least the staff had more tact than some of the other organizers.
When I asked who decided on this title, they apologized saying it was error, but one staffer did say the Chinese-American community who helped organize the event, chose the “Anti-Japanese” name. TPEC subsequently changed the name so not to sound offensive. Ironically, the caterer Norikoh Sushi served the guests Japanese fare: teka maki, yakisoba, gyoza and edamame along with one or two Taiwanese dishes. Interesting.
In future TPECC should also invite some Japanese guests from either the Japanese Consulate or from the Japan Society or the Japan Foundation. I think it’d be more fitting to carry a tone of reconciliation and mutual understanding. After all, it is the 21st century, and both Taiwan and Japan are democracies.
Having heard the lectures, mingled with the guests and filled on food and booze, it was time to go. Until next time of course.