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Taiwan's retrocession procedurally clear: Ma

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday on Taiwan's 65th Retrocession Day that Taiwan's return to the Kuomintang led Republic of China from its Japanese colonial rulers in 1945 was "procedurally clear" and had a documented legal basis.

The handover — recognized as Taiwan's Retrocession Day on Oct. 25 each year — was clearly documented in the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender, Ma said at the opening of an exhibition of historical photos and documents to mark the occasion.

"Taiwan's return to the Republic of China was procedurally extremely clear. Every document and every move had legal and political significance," Ma said.

The three documents constituted the most important foundation of Taiwan's retrocession, he said, describing them as "binding."

Ma's argument attempted to counter those who believe Taiwan's status has never been finalized.

They contend that the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which officially ended World War II when it took effect in April 1952, did not explicitly cede Taiwan to any party, leaving its sovereignty status uncertain.

Meanwhile, the president spoke of his overwhelming emotion recalling Taiwan's fate and spells of misfortune since the beginning of the 20th century.

"Taiwan can forgive Japan's mistake of invasion, but we in Taiwan should never forget the history," Ma said.

He urged Taiwanese citizens to forget the hatred wrought by war and turn the sentiment into "a strength of peace."

Ma called for further improvement in Taiwan-Japan relations, such as through the imminent opening of air links between the city airports of Taipei and Tokyo, and said he hoped people on both sides could live together in peace and prosperity.

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