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Taiwanese politics appears to be “boiling.” Scandals involving political leaders or their relatives have “heated” the political waters. Seen from the perspectives of democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law and justice — rather than from that of what effects the turmoil might have on Japan-Taiwan relations — it is not the political scandals themselves that are important but the way in which they are addressed and, in particular, whether there is strict adherence to judicial proceedings and how politicians take responsibility for their actions.

It is worth recalling that it took considerable time and countless trials and tribulations for democratic politics to become established in Taiwan. If democratization is the process of liberation from tyranny, authoritarianism and the legacy of feudalism, then one of the greatest trials for the people of Taiwan must surely have been the events leading up to World War II.

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