This is going to be a short and “speculative” post, meaning i am not going to do the research to back up my claims. its all going to be base on my impressions and general understanding. Why? Because its 9am and i havent slept.
So, what is Taiwan so in love with Japan? was one of many topics discussed last night. I personally have heard this question asked quite a few times, and its almost without exceptions from a Japanese.
my speculative answers to the question below:
1. Its because Japan were better colonial rulers than the subsequent Chinese KMT*.
This claim is of course base on my impression. It is also possible that such impressive was fueled by propaganda from the anti-KMT movement.
2. Its because Taiwanese nationalist like to empathize their Japanese and dutch colonial history to build a Taiwanese national identity that is distinguished from the mainland Chinese. Every wonder why the name “Formosa” is used as much as it is? Because its a name given to Taiwan from their dutch colonial masters. The cable news channel launched by senior member of the pro-independent nationalist DPP is of course named Formosa TV.
3. As the first Asian country to industrialize, Japan is able to start their culture development first. That means Japan compare to other Asian countries have a more developed fashion industries, pop culture industries, and have a domestic market that is in general more culturally sophisticated. When post-industrial Taiwan can afford to pay attention to culture and other sophistication they look to the United States and Europe then Japan as the only non-western alternative culture center.
*I distinguish the post-colonial KMT as Chinese and foreign because it was not democratically elected by people of Taiwan. Obviously time have changed, KMT in its current state is unquestionably Taiwanese, not Chinese.