TAIPEI, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Taiwanese gathered on Friday in Taipei to commemorate the 69th anniversary of Japanese surrender in the World War II, urging the Japanese government to give up its militaristic ambitions.
The one-hour rally which was staged by Taiwan's pro-unification groups, and activists defending the Diaoyu Islands, kicked off at 10 a.m. in front of the Taipei Office of Japan's Interchange Association, which represents the Japan's interests on the island.
Protesters chanted slogans urging Japan to apologize for its atrocities in the war. They also paid silent tribute, with white head bands, and bouquets of white lily and chrysanthemum, to the civilians killed during Japan's aggression.
Wu Jung-yuan, organizer of the rally and organizer of the "Cross-Strait Peace and Development Forum," said the rise of militarism in Japan has gained momentum this year as Shinzo Abe's administration attempted to abandon Japan's war-renouncing constitution and provoke territorial disputes with neighboring countries.
"On this day, 69 years ago, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender, which also marked the end of the misery the war inflicted on his own people," said Wu. "So we gather on this day also to remind the Japanese people to learn from the history, and ward off the militarist tendencies."
On Thursday, women's groups in Taiwan also demanded apologies and compensation from Japan for forcing many Taiwanese women -- known as "comfort women" -- into providing sexual services for Japanese military personnel during the war.