The implicit pursue of independence) coincided with historical

The visits that
Lee Teng-hui made there after the end of his presidency in 2000 were
particularly significant for the use of the nostalgic image of Japan. Due to
the fact that the PRC treated (and still treats) the former president of Taiwan
with great suspicion, in his rhetoric basically describing him as a separatist,
four trips to Japan which took place were associated with a very dense
political atmosphere. The first of them took place in 2001, after a long period
of Chinese pressure that was supposed to hold Japan back from issuing Lee
Teng-hui a visa. However, under a set of rules (no political statements), the
visa was issued and former president arrived to Japan, officially on medical
purposes. Lee Teng-hui, who during his youth studied in Japan (Kyoto
University), at every turn expressed admiration for the Japanese way of life and
culture. Lee, while comparing the pre-war Japan with the modern state stressed
the incredible progress that has taken place over the course of six decades. On
the other hand, he emphasized that despite this progress, Japan did not lose
its “spirit”.        

            Taiwan’s search for identity (and
implicit pursue of independence) coincided with historical revisionism trends
in Japan. Japanese political right wing, embodied by Liberal Democratic Party,
called to stop the historical flagellation, as Japan did not do anything to
feel ashamed and to get constantly humiliated. In this political climate Lee
Teng-hui and Kobayashi Yoshinori released a book titled “Lessons from Lee
Teng-hui’s School” (2001). The book took a form of a dialogue between the
authors. Their conversation revolved around the issue of nationalism and memory
politics. Lee criticized Japanese education system for creating the highly
negative view of Japanese historical heritage among the youngest generations by
exaggerating the dark chapter of Japan’s history. Moreover, Lee uncovers the
positive aspects of Japanese history, giving the examples straight from the
horse’s mouth, speaking of the profits Taiwan gained because of the Japanese
rule. Kobayashi criticizes 


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