Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, whom I deeply respect, passed away on July 30. He was 97. He was the first native-born President of Taiwan. He was ‘the father of Taiwan’ to the Taiwanese people and ‘the father of democracy’ for those who believe in democracy around the world.
From the fact that President Lee ended his great life just when China’s President Xi Jinping was repeating China’s hegemonic and oppressive expansions in the East and South China Seas, I cannot help feeling that President Lee left a message for us people around the world to stand up against China’s hegemonic behaviors now.
When I visited Taiwan under the President Chen Shui-bian regime as a member of the Japanese Diet members’ delegation to Taiwan more than 10 years ago, I met with President Lee Teng-hui at his house. During his lifetime, President Lee’s belief was the following words, “I am a person without me,” (literally translated from the original Chinese words). It means “I am not for myself, but I am for the sake of the nation and the society.” In my office, I am always keeping a thin rectangular piece of wood on which the late President Lee’s original Chinese words are printed. My political belief is based on his words.