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Taiwanese war criminal sees himself as victim

Published on Sep 25, 2012 1:51 PM
 
This undated handout picture released by Chou Ching-feng on September 22, 2012 shows a photograph taken in Osaka on June 5, 1952 of Taiwanese Hsu Ching-chun (right), then a prisoner of war in Osaka, with his Taiwanese friends and family. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AFP) - "War criminal" is not the first expression that comes to mind when seeing white-haired Chou Ching-feng in his living room in central Taiwan, sipping tea with his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

But nearly 70 years ago, he worked for the Japanese army in what is now Malaysia, guarding Australian prisoners in one of the numerous prisoner-of-war (POW) camps that were scattered across occupied Southeast Asia.

"The Japanese officers told us to beat the prisoners, and beat them hard. They were very meticulous about that," said Mr Chou, now 86.

He is one of about 160 Taiwanese who were punished for their activities in the Second World War. Eleven were executed.

 
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