Lee to attend unveiling of monument to Taiwanese dead in WWII Battle of Okinawa

Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui is going to attend the unveiling of a monument to Taiwanese soldiers who died in Battle of Okinawa

Taiwanese men who served in Japanese Imperial Army.

Taiwanese men who served in Japanese Imperial Army. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) is slated to visit Okinawa on in late June to attend the unveiling of a monument to Taiwanese soldiers who died fighting alongside the Japanese Imperial Army in the WWII Battle of Okinawa in 1945, reported CNA

Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported that Lee accepted  the invitation of the Taiwan-Japan Peace Foundation of Naha City to visit Okinawa from June 22 to June 26 to participate in a ceremony to be held on June 24 to honor the Taiwanese who died in the Battle of Okinawa near the close of WWII. The ceremony will include the unveiling of a monument titled "The Taiwanese War Deaths Commemoration Memorial" (台灣人戰亡者慰靈碑), during which Lee is tentatively scheduled to deliver a speech. 

If Lee is fit enough to attend, this would mark his second visit in two years to Japan and his ninth overall since leaving office as president. 

Lee's office director Wang Yan-chun (王燕軍) confirmed the Sankei Shimbun report to CNA, but said that due to Lee's frail health condition, the trip has not been officially confirmed and the exact details of his itinerary in Japan are still being worked out. 

The Battle of Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War during WWII, with the Cornerstone of Peace monument in Okinawa Prefecture Park listing 240,931 names of those who perished in the battle, including 149,193 civilians, 77,166 Imperial Japanese soldiers, 14, 009 American soldiers, adn several other nationalities, including 34 Taiwanese. 

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII, a total of 207,183 Taiwanese served in the military of Imperial Japan, with 30,304 declared killed or missing in action.