Japan's Controversial History Textbook to Be Rewritten

A Tokyo publisher said Monday it would rewrite part of its history textbook, which has been condemned by Japan's Asian neighbors for allegedly glossing over the country's wartime atrocities.

Fuso Publishing Inc. told the education ministry that it would revise nine parts of the junior high school textbook, including five parts which have been called into question by the South Korean government.

"It is not that we have complied with requests for revisions but it is a result of our self-examination," said a group of authors of the book.

The group, which calls itself the Society for History Textbook Reform, is made up of avowedly nationalist historians who assert Japan has become too "masochistic" in assessing its past.

The book's clearance in April by the government as suitable for use in schools has drawn angry reactions in several Asian countries invaded by Japan, souring relations with China and South Korea in particular.

The book plays down events such as the Nanjing Massacre in China and the use of hundreds of thousands of Asian women as sex slaves for Japanese troops.

The textbook steers clear of the word "invasion" in reference to Japan's military occupation of other Asian countries in the first half of the 20th century.

The publishing house said it would remove a phrase about Japan's colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

The version authorised in April read that fierce resistance arose after Japan colonised the peninsula "in spite of some domestic opinions accepting the annexation."

Fuso Publishing said that it would delete the part pointing to acceptance of the annexation.

Fuso publishing said earlier that it hoped about 10 percent of Japanese junior high schools would eventually use its textbook.

Local education boards across the country are supposed to decide by August 15 which books to use among government-authorized textbooks.

Originally intended for junior high school students aged 12 to 15, the textbook has already been selling well since it was put for general sale at book stores on June 4.

(Chinadaily.com.cn 07/03/2001)

In This Series

History Showdown: Koizumi Refuses to Revise Textbook

Taiwan Scholars Launch Campaign on Japanese Textbooks

Japanese Acknowledge Errors of Past

Japan Urged to Eliminate Distorted Contents in Its Textbook

Japan's Rightists Must Not Tamper with History

China Slams Japan Over History Textbook

Textbook Angers South Koreans

S. Korean Envoy Voices Concern About Japanese History Textbook

Taiwan Issue Remain Key to China-US Ties

Whitewashing Aggression History Harmful to Sino-Japanese



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