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Japan Urged to Educate Youths with Correct History
China hopes that the Japanese government would adopt a responsible attitude towards history and educate its young people with the correct version of history.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue made this remark at the regular ministry press conference in Beijing Tuesday.

It has been reported that the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology approved a history textbook last year which omitted the accurate number of war victims who were slaughtered during the Nanjing Massacre on December 13, 1937. The text which said "the estimated number of victims ranged from tens of thousands to 400,000" was changed to "many Chinese were killed" by the intruding Japanese Imperial Army troops.

The textbook is due to be published in April and used by middle school students in Japan.

The Nanjing Massacre, she noted, was a fully proven atrocity committed by Japanese militarists during Japan's war of aggression against China.

Any attempt to distort or sanitize its history of aggression would be futile, Zhang said.

The crux of matter with regard to the textbook issue was whether Japan was prepared to correctly view its past history of aggression, the spokeswoman said.

About 300,000 Chinese civilians and disarmed prisoners of war were massacred when Japanese troops embarked on an orgy of destruction, pillage, rape and murder after taking the eastern booming Chinese city of Nanjing, one of the worst atrocities in human history.

At the press conference, Zhang also expounded China’s position on DPRK nuclear issue.

China hopes the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States will have direct talks as soon as possible and that it is ready to play a role in resolving the current DPRK nuclear problem, she said.

China made its clear-cut proposition immediately after the issue came to prominence last October, Zhang recalled.

It supported the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula for maintaining peace and stability of the peninsula, and peacefully resolving the issue through dialogue, Zhang said.

China had had extensive contacts with all countries concerned and gave the comprehensive enunciation of its stance on such occasions as international conventions, she said, adding that her country's position had won wide international support and endorsement.

The key of the DPRK nuclear issue was to guarantee the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while heeding the security concerns of the DPRK, she said.

From an historical and practical perspective, Zhang noted, the 1994 DPRK-US Framework Accord remained the important basis for denuclearization and should continue to be safeguarded.

The DPRK nuclear issue was still amid the process of developing and changing, but the problem should be resolved peacefully only through political means, Zhang stressed.

China had always promoted peace and dialogue and welcomed all efforts in that direction, she said.

She added that her country opposed any moves that could further escalate the situation.

"We are ready to continue efforts for peace and stability on the peninsula, achieving denuclearization, and contribute our share to a peaceful solution to" the DPRK nuclear issue, she said.

If all relevant parties make constructive efforts, the spokeswomen said, the DPRK nuclear issue could eventually be resolved peacefully.

(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2003)

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