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China Slams Japan Over History Textbook

The Chinese Government and people are strongly indignant about the new Japanese history textbook for 2002, which expunges some of the country's dark acts of World War II.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhu Bangzao fired this message at the Japanese yesterday in response to the Japanese government's approval of a text that attempts to glorify some Japanese atrocities of the past century as positive acts.

It must be pointed out that the reactionary and absurd nature of the textbook survived the review process although many other parts were amended, Zhu said.

The textbook intentionally blurs the nature of the aggressive war launched by the Japanese invaders and fails to reflect on the cruel tragedies perpetrated on the Asian people by Japanese militarists.

Instead, it whitewashes and exculpates the atrocities committed by the Japanese troops, he noted.

This is in defiance of the historical record and the conscience of humanity and an insult to the Asian people, the spokesman said.

This incident reveals once again that Japan is home to ultra-rightist forces who have tried to deny the country's history of aggression and who glorify it, Zhu said. This demands vigilance from the global community as well as the Japanese people.

Yet the Japanese government ignored its responsibility by allowing this textbook. This act calls into question whether Japan was sincere in its introspection and past apologies.

"We have taken note of the statements made again by the Japanese chief cabinet secretary and education minister on the historical issue, and hope that the Japanese side can keep its word and correct errors in the textbook in accordance with the documents agreed upon by the two governments to protect the two nations' bilateral relations," said Zhu, referring to a document in which the Japanese acknowledged its troubled past.

In another condemnation, educators in China also expressed shock over the textbook, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education said yesterday.

The spokesman urged Japan to look squarely at its history, take a responsible attitude toward the education of its younger generation and amend the erroneous and absurd representations in the textbook.

In Tokyo, China's ambassador to Japan, Chen Jian, said that "although some revisions were made in the textbook, its essence of denial and beautification of Japan's past aggression is not changed."

"We are shocked and deeply regret on the approval of the history textbook."

(Xinhua 04/04/2001)

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