Recently, a bunker was discovered in a rural part of Taiwan’s far south. Experts were sent to investigate the site, located on land that had been given a few years ago to National Pingtung University of Technology and Science. They determined that this was a munitions depot used during WWII. It was an exciting find, but hardly a surprise in this part of Taiwan. By the start of WWII, Taiwan had been subject to Japanese colonial rule for nearly 50 years. And it was here, around Taiwan’s southernmost tip, that the Japanese military believed an Allied invasion of Taiwan would eventually come.
The whole area was heavily fortified. But after the war many sites were forgotten about entirely. It is possible that there are still tunnels, bunkers, and munitions depots like this find that have yet to be rediscovered. Director of the Pingtung County Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Wu Chin-fa, hopes that these sites will be preserved for future generations as protected historic sites. Despite the difficult memories of wartime Taiwan they can bring back, he and his bureau are now taking the first steps to make sure that they are preserved. Mr. Wu joins us today to talk about these military facilities and their significance.