29 August 1945. A fleet of eight C-47 aircraft flying out of Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport transports 150 American prisoners of war home after toiling along the Thailand– Burma Railroad. Arranged by the American Office of Strategic Services, this is the first large-scale repatriation of POWs from the country. A similar British operation follows soon after.
29 August 1945. With sovereignty over Taiwan returned to China and occupation of the island by Chinese government troops imminent, Chiang Kai-shek appoints Chen I as Chief Executive of Taiwan Province. In the 1930s, when governor of neighbouring Fujian province, Chen had expressed admiration for the fruits of Japan’s economic development on the island. By 1945, however, he is determined to bring Taiwan firmly within the Chinese fold. Although fluent in Japanese, he refuses to speak this language to local elites who cannot speak Mandarin.