“Crime” of interpreting

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After WWII, 173 Taiwanese who had served in the Japanese army wereconvicted as war criminals. Among the 21 executed Taiwanese, at least 13were convicted for crimes committed while working as interpreters, formal orinformal, during the war. In addition, a handful of Taiwanese interpreters weresentenced to various prison terms. In the Australian, British, Chinese, Dutch,and US courts established in Asian regions, most of those Taiwanese interpreterswere prosecuted for crimes against local civilians and prisoners of war. Somewere originally recruited as laborers, but they were assigned to ad hoc interpretingduty because of their unique language proficiency and forced into situationswhere war crimes occurred. They took the responsibility of the Japanesemilitary and suffered the consequences.


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