Retrocession Day

Taiwan Retrocession Day
19451025 中國戰區臺灣省受降典禮後 臺灣省警備總司令部全體官兵合影.jpg
Observed byTaiwan
TypeHistorical, cultural, nationalist
Date25 October 1945
Frequencyannual
Retrocession Day
Traditional Chinese臺灣光復節
Simplified Chinese台湾光复节

Taiwan Retrocession Day is an annual observance and unofficial holiday in the Republic of China to commemorate the end of 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan and Penghu, and their handover to China on 25 October 1945.[1][2] However, the idea of "Taiwan retrocession" is in dispute.

Retrocession Day is currently not an official public holiday in Taiwan; however, memorial activities are still being held by civilian organisations and individuals.

Historical background

Taiwan, then more commonly known to the Western world as "Formosa", became a colony of the Empire of Japan when the Qing Empire lost the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and ceded the island with the signing of the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki. Japanese rule in Taiwan lasted until the end of World War II.

In November 1943, Chiang Kai-shek took part in the Cairo Conference with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, who firmly advocated that Japan be required to return all of the territory it had annexed into its empire, including Taiwan and the Penghu Islands. Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation, drafted by the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and China in July 1945, reiterated that the provisions of the Cairo Declaration be thoroughly carried out, and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender stated Japan's agreement to the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation.

Under the authorisation of Douglas MacArthur's General Order No. 1, Chen Yi was escorted by George Kerr to Taiwan to accept the Japanese government's surrender as the Chinese delegate. When the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II, General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed an instrument of surrender and handed it over to General Chen Yi of the Kuomintang (KMT) military to complete the official turnover in Taipei (known previously as Taihoku) on 25 October 1945, at the Taipei City Hall (now Zhongshan Hall). Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day" and organised the island into the Taiwan Province. Taiwan has since been governed by the Republic of China, and since 1949 has made up most of the country's territory, along with Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, and other nearby islands; the Republic of China is now frequently referred to as "Taiwan".