Japan's nationalist "New History Textbook" is fueling
anger in Japan-China relations, it certainly is a thorn
in the heart of hundreds of millions of people in Asia.
But, this textbook is not deeply popular as we can read:
"Though given away for free, the text is used by only 18
junior high schools -- out of 11,102 junior highs in all
of Japan. It has been denounced by the nation's leading
teacher's union, and is well right of mainstream public
opinion. Outside of Japan's classrooms, however, the
textbook is anything but obscure. Since it was first
approved by a government screening panel four years ago,
the text has been singled out by Japan's neighbors as
evidence that the country is trying to whitewash its
And its unrepentant tone and omission of Japan's wartime
atrocities, including germ warfare and the forcing of
tens if not hundreds of thousands of women into
prostitution -- have outraged many Japanese educators
and liberals. It is now at the center of yet another
regional rift. The approval of its newest edition
earlier this month fueled street protests in several
Chinese cities, threats of a boycott of Japanese
products and violence against at least two Japanese
students, plunging relations between the two Asian
giants to their lowest level in years.
Even North Korea has piped up, saying the Education
Ministry's approval of the text and Japan's recent push
to get a permanent seat on the United Nations Security
Council demonstrate how this nation's leaders are
"political dwarfs." The text's publishers claim surprise
at the outcry. "We only hope more schools choose our
book," said Fusosha spokeswoman Yoko Ishimaru,
acknowledging that the textbook could have been more
Only 10 public and eight private junior high schools use
the textbook, meaning it reaches only 0.1 percent of the
1.2 million seventh graders in Japan. The text's
limited usage reflects many teachers' concerns over its
content. The book covers all of Japan's history, from
ancient times to modern. The current edition has 236
pages, of which only about 20 cover the 1920-1945
period, the height of Japanese expansionism. But those
20 pages are highly inflammatory, with passages
defending Japan's militarism as an attempt to liberate
Asia from western colonialism and claiming that
resource-poor Japan was pushed into a corner and used
aggression as a last resort. Similar logic was used by
Japan's wartime leaders."
end of quotes
Still some argue about the past & history, for instance
on the circumstances of the Nanking massacre. A veil on
the facts that trouble consciences :
Quote of these exchanges of emails between activists,
academics of NBR (unfortunate censors ), and media :
Ignatius Y. Ding, Cupertino, California, U.S.A. has a
long record of actions to combat historical amnesia in
Asia, he is the Spokesperson and member of the Executive
Committee of the Global Alliance for Preserving the
History of World War II in Asia (1994-present).
"The alleged culprit was not Matsui Iwane, but Prince
Yasuhiko Asaka -- Commander in Chief Shanghai
Expeditionary Army and one of the uncles of Japanese
Emperor Hirohito (Showa). This was just simply imperial
family business during the war.
Another dark imperial page of Japanese history was the
direct link of the imperial family to the notorious Unit
731 which was an extension of the biological and
chemical warfare center pioneered by Emperor Hirohito's
father-in-law Chujo (Lt-Gen) Koshaku (Prince) Kuniyoshi
Kuni in early 1930's. It was documented by Daniel
Barenblatt of New York in his book published last year."
Ignatius Ding *
end of quotes
This rare and astonishing statement follows a question
set in a message posted by myself to a forum, NBR, and
never posted by the moderator-censor Griffin, awfully
frightened by its contents.
"Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 07:59:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Joel J. Legendre"
Subject: Re: NBR'S JAPAN FORUM (POL) Honda Katsuichi
To: "Japan-U.S. Discussion Forum"
Peter Ennis wrote:
But: at the same time, there was murder on a mass scale
on the part of Japanese army units that were set loose
by a criminally negligent leadership. How high up did
the decisions go? Debate goes on and on.
Regarding Nanking, Mr. Peter Ennis, could you, and/or,
the other honorable members of this forum, elaborate
about this or eventually introduce the debate that goes
on and on about the "criminally negligent leadership in
Japan"? Are you referring to Matsui Iwane or to higher
ranks and officials of the government and institutions
of Japan at that time? In addition, it would be a
fruitful debate if ever vis a vis the Japanese textbooks
issues and what some perceive as the rising nationalism
of a segment of the society, including young generation
of Japanese ? "
end of quotes
"Si vis pacem, para bellum"
* Who is Ignatius Ding?
Ignatius Y. Ding, Cupertino, California, U.S.A.
- Spokesperson and member of the Executive Committee of
the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World
War II in Asia (1994-present).
- Spokesperson, legislative and media liaison of the San
Francisco Alliance for Preserving the Truth of
Sino-Japanese War (APTSJW) (1992-present).
- Spokesperson and Secretary of the Silicon Valley for
Democracy in China (SVDC) (1989-present).
- Former member of the Board of Directors, American Red
Cross, Santa Clara Valley Chapter (1993-1997).
- Member of the Instructional Materials Advisory Panel
for the California State Board of Education (1998).
- Member of the Advisory Council to the Board of
Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District (BAAQMD), a California state agency
- Member of the West Valley Citizens' Air Watch (WVCAW)
- Knowledge engineering architect for Hewlett-Packard
Co. and a 28-year veteran in the computer industry.
- Freelance writer and lecturer on WW II history and
litigation and legislation processes.
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