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Taiwan Scholars Launch Campaign on Japanese Textbooks

A group of Taiwan scholars launched a campaign Saturday to urge Japan to rewrite school history textbooks that gloss over its wartime role and atrocities, Taiwan's local media reported Sunday.

Chu Teh-Ian, a researcher with Sun Yat-sen Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy, told a news conference that more than 60 Taiwan college professors had signed an open letter protesting whitewashed accounts of history in a new set of school textbooks in Japan, the reports said.

Chu said Taiwan scholars will cooperate with their South Korean and Japanese peers in publishing an international version of history textbooks to offer the correct accounts of major historical events.

The textbooks, which is being examined by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for use in the school year starting in April 2002, recently drew strong criticism from China and South Korea as it distorts history.

The original draft of the textbooks describe World War II as the "Greater East Asian War of the Co-Prosperity Sphere" and justify Japan's invasion of Southeast Asia by saying victories over the Western powers there allowed countries in the region to achieve postwar independence.

(People's Daily 04/16/2001)

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