Taiwan’s Retrocession Day

Retrocession Day is an unofficial holiday and public observance in Taiwan that commemorates the end of the Japanese rule of Penghu and Taiwan. It was formerly a public holiday, but that was later changed.

This holiday is observed annually on October 25th but isn’t widely observed because Taiwanese retrocession has been somewhat disputed with some supporters of Taiwanese Independence arguing that there is no precedent in international law in which an instrument of surrender affected a transfer of sovereignty. This is based on a declassified Central Intelligence Agency report from 1949 that confirmed Taiwan was never a part of the Republic of China.

The History Of Retrocession Day In Taiwan

When the Qing Empire lost the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894, Taiwan (known as Formosa) would become a colony of the Empire of Japan under the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki. This rule of Taiwan by Japan would last until WWII ended. In November of 1943, Chiang Kai-shek took part in the Cairo Conference.

Also in attendance were Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, two leaders who advocated that Japan should have to return all of its annexed territories including the Penghu Islands and Taiwan. The U.S, U.K, Soviet Union, and China drafted Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation. This proclamation reiterated the Cairo Declarations provisions and insisted they be carried out.

Observing Retrocession Day In Taiwan

This holiday is often observed by several different groups in Taiwan. Some are in support of Taiwanese Retrocession and others oppose it. This holiday is often observed with speeches, exhibitions, and other special events.

Since it’s now a non-official public holiday, many schools, governmental agencies, and businesses remain open. It’s also not a day off for the general population. The hashtag #TaiwanRetrocessionDay can also be used on social media to highlight this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Taiwan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2023)
October 25 Wednesday
Next year (2024)
October 25 Friday
Last year (2022)
October 25 Tuesday