Translations of Japanese History Textbooks on Website
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Posted: 08:16 AM JST
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commissioned a private company to translate parts of its junior high school history textbooks. It concerns sections about Japan and neighboring countries in 8 books that deal with Japan's modern history. Chinese and Korean translations will be posted on the company's website today, according to te ministry. The MOFA website will link to the translations of the Japanese history textbooks. English translations will be posted on the site later.
Many countries, especially Japan's neighbors, have shown increased interest in the content of history textbooks used at Japanese junior high schools. Earlier this year there were large demonstrations in South Korea and China, some of them violent, after newsmedia reported about textbooks published by publisher Fusosha. The books hardly mention atrocities committed by Japanese troops during WWII.
Much of the discussion heard from these countries, maintains the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is not based on accurate understanding of Japan's history textbooks. "Publication under this project is intended to promote understanding by foreign countries of the real picture of Japan's history textbooks and history education," MOFA's site said yesterday, "by introducing in translation what is actually written in its junior high school textbooks."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now considering to translate the complete text of modern history textbooks.
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