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Japan Urged to Eliminate Distorted Contents in Its Textbook

China Wednesday urged Japan to take effective measures to eliminate the negative effects brought by the approval of a textbook that glorifies Japan's history of invasion during the Second World War.

When meeting Japanese ambassador Anami Koreshige, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said China is strongly indignant and angry at the decision of the Japanese government to approve the textbook.

The textbook issue has seriously harmed the feeling of the Chinese people and upset the normal development of bilateral relations, said Tang.

"This (the approval of the textbook) cannot but make the Chinese government and people to question the true stance of the Japanese government on historic issues and doubt if the solemn commitments made by Japan on these issues can be trusted," said Tang, stressing that Japan's correct attitude towards its history of invasion is the important political basis of Sino-Japanese relations.

Before the approval, the Japanese government has repeatedly said that the historic view of right-wing scholars did not represent the will of the general public and that it would handle the issue according to the documents in which Japan acknowledged its troubled past.

Though it is a few right-wing forces who compile the textbook, Tang Wednesday also held the Japanese government responsible for the issue.

This week's dispute over textbook between China and Japan is yet another one since the 1980s. It has already aroused serious concern and protests in other Asian countries such as South Korea.

China, from the very beginning of the issue, reiterated its serious concern over the compilation of the textbook and asked Japan to strictly abide by the principles enshrined in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration as well as other commitments.

The Chinese foreign minister noted that despite revisions, the basic tone of absurdity has not been changed in the new textbook.

The new textbook not only denies the invasive nature of the war started by the Japanese militarists but also advocates the notorious theory that the Japanese invasion helped liberate the Asian countries, noted Tang, adding that instead of making introspection, it distorts history and tries the utmost to exculpate Japanese militarists from the invasion.

"It is clear that the root purpose of the Japanese right-wing scholars to compile such a textbook is to deny and glorify Japan's history of invasion and instill an absurd and dangerous view of history to the young generation in Japan," Tang said. "The textbook, once used in classrooms, will seriously poison Japan's history education and bury a hidden trouble for Japan's direction of development."

(China Daily 04/04/2001)

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