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Taiwan Church News

3313 Edition

August 24 - 30, 2015

Headline News


A New Asia-Pacific Order Is Emerging When Japan Endeavors To Pass A Security Act Of Collective Self-Defense


Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong


Regarding the constitutional reform to exercise a right of collective self-defense, which is more and more positively urged by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, not only US and China responds differently but also the neighboring countries have complicated stances and attitudes. So, it becomes necessary for Taiwan to know the impact of Japan's new strategic policy toward the geo-politics of the whole Asia-Pacific area.


In the afternoon on 22 August, Mr. Koh Se-kai, former Taiwan top diplomat to Japan from 2004 to 2008, was invited by Taiwan New Century Foundation to deliver a speech, entitled as "The Significance Of Japan's Collective Self-Defense And Her Implications For Asia-Pacific Order", explaining the strategic meanings of this critical security act proposed by Shinzo Abe administration.


"The major goal of Abe administration is to modify the article 9 of Japan constitution. Though over one-third of lower house MPs have agreed to modify article 9, an one-third MP votes of upper house are still stopped short. So, Abe administration has to wait until next fall, when the upper house completes re-election. Till then, what PM Abe pledges to achieve could be done", analysed Koh.


The reason, why US wants to support Abe's constitutional reform, is based on her re-balancing strategy of "Return To Asia". In the meantime, China's recent aggressive operations, like building artificial islands in South China Sea or claiming her sovereignty over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, make international society prepared to accept Japan's exercise of the collective self-defense, said Koh.


The truth about VOA news, that Ma Ying-jeou administration seemed cautiously silent on Japan's restoration of her self-defense policy, was due to Ma administration's ultimate fears to lose the patronage of US, though his core diplomatic principle is to make China as friends and treat Japan as foes, commented Koh.


Koh pointed out that, if there is no surprise, Taiwan would have a second "party alternation" in 2006. It means Taiwan would be a new partner joining the party of US-Japan Alliance in the coming future. Though currently Taiwan has no official diplomatic relationship with Japan, it is unprecedented that Taiwan was respected as a country either in Abe's open speech about Taiwan or in Japan's official documents. Therefore, an increasingly critical strategic position of Taiwan among the new Asia-Pacific geo-politics is deeply understood by Japan government and her people.


Translated by Peter Wolfe

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Taiwan Church News

3312 Edition

August 17 - 23, 2015



Beat Our Swords Into Plowshares


2015 is the 70th anniversary after the end of World War II(WWII). Many nations around the world held memorial ceremonies to commemorate this historical event. Two most significant commemorative assemblies are held respectively in Europe on May 9 - Victory in Europe Day(VE Day), and in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan on August 9 and 15 - Peace Memorial Ceremony. Especially, after receiving the destructive bombing of two atomic bombs, Japan government was forced to accept the Potsdam Declaration. And then, Japanese Emperor Showa read out his first ever "Jewel Voice Broadcast" (the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War) announcing an unconditional surrender on August 15, which was marked as the end of WWII.


Nobody likes war. Yet, when the human history was examined in retrospect, mutual killings among the peoples were never stopped. Nearly every page of the history books was written by blood and tears. Among the wars, two world wars in 20th century were mostly mentioned. Especially, the notorious WWII incurred more condemnations as the unprecedented scale of nations involved, cities destroyed and people killed. Not to mention the devastating impact after the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the unforgettable trauma and nightmare would always haunt in those soldiers and civilians beyond any understanding of the following generations.


The terror of the war could also be witnessed in a profound book, 5000 Years History of Warfares, written by a retired general Lee Zhe-fen, graduated from the 5th term of Hwang-pu Military Academy and had been acted as a force-commander. Lee said, "'War', what a heinous noun it is! Any occurrence of a war, innumerable lives were cost and countless properties destroyed. A whole country with her people would be annihilated during the war, or the community became destructively scorched beyond repair at least. Especially terrifying is the invisible destruction of the war: fallen morality, abnormal mind, rampant lust and lawless society".


Even though the warfare could bring huge catastrophe, there are still some "leaders" instigating the war to defend their own interests, powers and ambitions. "Mission is a lie, war an excuse, as the truth is just a defense of the power", this sentence clearly indicates the mindset of the warmongers as described by Proverbs 17,19a "One who loves transgression loves strife".


May we can follow the advise specified in Micah 4: 3~4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more". Only through this way, can we enjoy the fruits of peace and happiness under the vine and fig tree in our own homeland without heinous horror anymore. Sincerely hope all human beings no more make any weapons to destroy each other. To increase our wealth and make our society prosperous, we shall beat our swords into plowshares!

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Taiwan Church News
3312 Edition
August 17 - 23, 2015
Church Ministry

Celebrating PCT 150 And Univ. Aletheia 50, A Hymnal CD Featuring Rev. MacKay's Pilgrimage In Faith Is Released

Reported by Lin Yi-yin
To celebrate PCT 150 and the 50th anniversary of Aletheia University since her establishment, a new hymnal CD featuring Rev. MacKay's pilgrimage in faith was released after a thank-giving service in the grand auditorium in Aletheia University on August 15. A memorial concert casting the missionary life of Rev. Mackay was also performed by The Octangle Male Choir.
Mr Cheng Mu-chuyn, leader of The Octangle Male Choir, expressed that 13 hymnals were collected in this newly released CD, which had either been heard/sang by Rev. Mackay himself or portraiting his pilgrimage in faith.
These 13 hymnals deemed as most characteristic about Rev. MacKay's pioneering mission included: his most favorite hymn in his childhood - "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night"; the song sang in a classmate circle when he just graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary - "From Greenland's Icy Mountains"; and many hymnals adapted from the melody of Taiwanese plains aborigines when Rev. MacKay preached in Taiwan's north- astern Lang-yang plains: "Chin Chú Siõng-tè Chõ Thi-Tõe", "Siõng-tè Chhòng-Chõ Thi Kap Tõe". Out of question, the famous hymnal of "My Last Resting Place" was included and placed as the final one.
This new hymnal CD is specially recommended by Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General Secretary; Chen Hsiu-wen, Director of PCT Church Music Committee and Cheng Yang-en, Professor of Church History at Taiwan Theological Seminary and College.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
In order to celebrate PCT 150 and Aletheia 50, The Octangle Male Choir, whose origin can be traced back to the Oxford college established in late 19th century by Rev. George Leslie Mackay, performed 13 hymnals casting his pilgrimage in faith in a memorial concert at Aletheia University on August 15.

Photo by The Octangle Male Choir

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