Tokyo's School Board Adopts Text Omitting Japan Atrocities
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Posted: 10:57 PM JST
Associated Press reports today that educators have approved a history textbook under attack by critics for omitting Japanese wartime atrocities. It will be used by 160 students in a public secondary school in the capital, opening in April 2005. It is the first ordinary public school in Tokyo to use the textbook says Tokyo city spokesman Yasuhiko Kiriyama in the article.
This academic year fifteen Japanese schools are using the books according to Education Ministry spokesman Yoko Kuki. The New History Textbook, says the AP article, was penned by nationalist scholars and approved in 2001 by the Education Ministry.
At the time there were strong protests from South Korea and China, which were basically ignored by the Japanese government. Critics have been saying for the past few years that its omission of Japanese wartime atrocities, such as 'comfort women' and germ warfare in China distorts history and offends countries that suffered from these offenses during the Second World War.
AP quotes Ayako Okino, deputy director of "Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21 as saying that she demands the education board to retract its decision immediately. "We will do our utmost to prevent the pro-war thinking in the textbook from being forced on children."
Japan has acknowledged germ warfare in China and military involvement in brothels, but has refused to compensate victims.
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