Koo Hsien-jung

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Koo Hsien-jung, center.
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Koo.

Koo Hsien-jung (Chinese: 辜顯榮; pinyin: Gū Xiǎnróng; Wade–Giles: Ku1 Hsien3-jung2; Romaji: Kō Ken’ei; February 2, 1866 – December 9, 1937) was a Taiwanese businessman and politician who enjoyed strong links to the Japanese colonial administration of Taiwan. He founded the Koos Group of companies, the largest business group in Taiwan.

Koo was a businessman at the time of the Treaty of Shimonoseki in which Qing Dynasty China ceded Taiwan to Japan. When the Japanese forces arrived in Taiwan, they encountered resistance and besieged Taipei. On June 6, 1895, Koo opened the gates of Taipei and led Japanese forces into the city.

Koo's close links to the Japanese allowed him both to pursue a successful political career (he became the first Taiwanese to be appointed by the emperor to the House of Peers of Japan, in 1934) and to build a collection of businesses that formed the nucleus of today's Koos Group of companies.

Koo had four concubines, eight sons and four daughters. His fifth son, Koo Chen-fu, inherited control of his father's business and served as the negotiator for Taiwan during the talks with China in 1993 and 1998. His eighth son, Koo Kuan-min (辜寬敏) was and is a leader of the Taiwan Independence movement. His grandson is Richard Koo, a Japanese economist specializing in balance sheet recessions.

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