A military police officer guarding a back door of the Presidential Palace this morning was slashed in the neck, when a man entered the palace grounds with a Japanese military officer’s sword stolen from a museum.
Shortly after 10:00am, Lu Jun-yi (呂軍億) entered the Presidential Palace grounds through the west gate, jumped a knee-high fence, and attacked a guard attempting to prevent him entering the building. Lu was immediately subdued by other military police officers, and the injured officer was rushed to hospital.
The injured officer, a military conscript named Zhou, is reported to be in a stable condition at National Taiwan University Hospital.
The 51 year-old assailant told police he had stolen the sword from a military history museum. The sword bears the inscription “Nanjing, killed 107 people” and is said to have been used during the Nanjing Massacre in 1937.
Lu was also carrying a bag containing the communist People’s Republic of China 5-star flag, and confessed that he planned to fly the flag from the rooftop of the Presidential Palace. A letter in the bag stated that “This is in the spirit of martyr Wang Wei.” In the letter, that Lu wrote apparently expecting to die today, Lu stated that he wished for the reunification of China to be swift.
Wang Wei (王偉) was a Chinese pilot who died after a collision with a US spy plane in 2001 and was declared a Revolutionary Martyr by communist officials.
The Ministry of National Defense confirmed that the sword Lu used had gone missing this morning. The sword was displayed at the museum in a glass case labeled “The Nanjing Massacre Sword,” and described as concrete evidence of the massacre of “our compatriots” by the Japanese army.
The glass case in which the sword was displayed had been smashed with a hammer.
As the investigation progressed, it was revealed that Lu had been planning his action for some time. On August 11, Lu made a dummy-run and visited the museum, then walked around the Presidential Palace surveying the entrances.
On the morning of August 18, Lu traveled from his home in Beitou district to Guting Station on the Taipei Metro, then took a taxi to a hardware store where he purchased a steel hammer. He then had a cup of coffee at an 85°C Cafe near the military officer’s club which houses a museum of military hardware.
Lu entered the museum shortly after opening time and smashed the glass case with the hammer. According to his confession, Lu took the sword and made the 5 or 10 minute walk to the Presidential Palace with the intent of using the sword to cut down anyone who stood in his way.