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New History Book Reviews East Asian History

A new history textbook titled The Modern and Contemporary History of Three East Asian Countries was published simultaneously in China, Japan and South Korea last month. It was co-written and compiled by scholars and teachers from the three countries over a period of three years. 

The China book launch was jointly sponsored by the Institute of Modern History Research under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), compilers of the Chinese version, and Social Science Documentation Press, publishers of the book. The event was held in Beijing on Thursday at CASS.


The textbook, which targets middle-school students and young people in the three countries, endeavors to give a comprehensive, objective and fair account of the modern history of the three countries, especially Japan's aggression against China and Korea, and China and Korea's resistance.


It also describes the relationship dynamics among the three countries in the light of future peace and development in East Asia.


The new history textbook gives a vivid account of Japan's atrocities against China and Korea with substantiating material, including pictures and graphs. The book reportedly exposes mistakes made in an earlier Japanese textbook, which was written by a group of right-wing Japanese academics and distorts historical facts, glossing over Japan's campaign of aggression.


The initiative to publish this textbook taken by Chinese, Japanese and South Korean scholars with a sense of justice is a first in all three countries. Their effort is of great significance and will play an important role in strengthening scholarly exchange, and communicating accurate historical knowledge.


(China.org.cn by Yuan Fang, June 10, 2005)

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