Historical revisionism exposed in Japan's newly reviewed textbooks

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-4-6 22:31:10

Historical revisionism was exposed in Japan's new textbooks for junior high school reviewed by the Education Ministry, according to the review results released by the ministry Monday.

Some reviewed textbooks to be used in the next year, in line with the country's increasingly right-leaning politics under the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, revised their expressions over Japan's wartime atrocities during the World War II and colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.

On the infamous Nanjing Massacre committed by the then Japanese Imperial Army, some reviewed textbooks stated that "captives and civilians were involved in" the tragedy and "casualties were exposed," compared to the original words like the Japanese Army " killed many captives and civilians."

Contents stated that "the Japan's atrocity was condemned" were also deleted from some reviewed school books.

More than 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese army in Nanjing after they occupied the then China's capital on December 13, 1937.

On the land survey during Japan's occupation of Korea, current books stated that the move was "under the banner of modernizing Korea," but the reviewed pamphlets read like the move was "with the purpose of modernization."

In efforts to shake off the Japanese military's responsibilities, the reviewed textbooks also whitewashed the facts that Japanese troops forced many Okinawans committed collective suicide at the end of the Okinawa battle during WWII by saying many Okinawans "fell into hopeless situation of suicide."

Meanwhile, the newly reviewed textbooks added Japanese government's stance and claims over territorial disputes with its neighboring countries. About 18 type of the reviewed book say the disputed territories are Japan's inherent territories.

Hidenori Fujita, an education expert at the Kyoei University, told reporters that such one-side statement is something that can not be justified and the one-side interpretation would prompt hostility among students toward neighboring countries, referring to the textbooks' statement over the territorial disputes.

He added that the review by the ministry would force publishers to conduct self-review over the wartime atrocities in their textbooks as they are worried about ultra-right and conservative voices.

Japan's relations with its neighboring China and South Korea are frayed due to territorial and historical disputes, but signs of improvements in their ties are still weak with right-wingers here, including officials and lawmakers, always trying to deny and whitewash Japan's wartime wrongdoings. Textbook revision is one of their awkward means.

South Korea has blasted Japan for the textbook revision due to territorial disputes. South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Japanese government is being provocative again.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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