TAIPEI, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Taiwanese groups gathered in Taipei Wednesday, urging the Japanese government to apologize for atrocities committed by its aggressors and to stop moves intended to encroach on the Diaoyu Islands.
Wednesday marked the 67th anniversary of the Japanese surrender in the World War II.
Staged by Taiwan's pro-unification groups, womens' groups as well as activists defending the Diaoyu Islands, the gathering was held outside the Taipei office of Japan's Interchange Association, which represents Japan's interests.
In his speech delivered to the rally, Wu Jung-yuan, convener of the "Cross-Strait Peace and Development Forum" and chairman of Taiwan's Labor Party, said China suffered at least 35 million soldier and civilian casualties in the war against Japanese aggressors and defeated them, which was an important part of the anti-Fascist war between the 1930s and 1940s.
He said many Taiwanese people also went to the mainland to join the battle against Japanese aggressors.
Japan, as a country which launched the aggression war, should draw lessons from history and thoroughly reflect on the war, Wu said, calling on the Japanese government to stop attempts to encroach on the Diaoyu Islands, a Chinese territory, and stop visiting the Yasukuni shrine, which honors some 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 major war criminals.
He added that the Japanese government should no longer shirk its responsibilities for other crimes that Japanese aggressors committed during the war, namely of sex slavery, forced labor, and use of poison gas.
In a separate move, womens' groups demanded an apology from Japan for forcing many Taiwanese women - known as "comfort women" - into providing sexual services for Japanese military personnel during the World War II.
The Japanese government has been reluctant to acknowledge the crimes and has not acceded to calls for an apology to the victims, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation.