Wednesday, May 11, 2005

History school textbooks denies Japan's wartime atrocities : Unjustifiable!

Confusion, nationalism, and revisionism still have good
days ahead in Japan?

Quotes : "Leaders of a group that edited a controversial
history textbook denied Tuesday the book whitewashes
Japan's wartime atrocities.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan,
Hidetsugu Yagi, president of the Japanese Society for
History Textbook Reform, said foreign experts and
political leaders appear to have criticized the junior
high school textbook without having read it. So more
non-Japanese can read it, the society has translated
part of the book into English, Chinese and Korean, said
Yagi, an assistant professor at Takasaki City University
of Economics.

The textbook makes no reference to women, mostly Asian,
who were forced into sexual slavery at frontline
brothels for the Japanese military.

Nobukatsu Fujioka, an author of the textbook who also
spoke Tuesday, said the society did not include that
topic in the book because it had not found evidence that
the women had been forced into the sex work.

It created a history textbook for junior high school
students, initially approved for use in schools by the
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ministry in 2001.

A revised edition, published by Fusosha Publishing Inc.,
was approved by the ministry last month."

End of quotes.

What a pathetic attempt to justify the crimes of war and
colonization of Asia by the Japanese Imperial Army. What
pride exists in justifying the unjustifiable and what
are the answers to these revisionists? Here is the
document written after a conference organized by the
participants of "The Asian Solidarity Conference on
Textbook Issues in Japan - No! to the Distorted History


"Nationalism, which attempts to justify past war
atrocities and colonialist rule, is on the rise in
Japan. The influence aims to make Japan into a nation
which can go to war. Those who are deeply concerned
about this grave situation as well as concerned about
the history and civics textbooks published for this
purpose, by the Society for New History Textbook
(Tsukurukai), held "The Asian Solidarity Conference on
Textbook Issues in Japan. - No! to the Distorted
History Textbook." on June 10th and 11th 2001, in Tokyo.

Included were the total of 250 participants from ROK
(South Korea), DPRK (North Korea: due to the refusal of
entry into Japan, participated by submitting their
papers), China, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia
and Japan (including Ainu, Okinawa, and Koreans in

During the two-day conference, valuable testimonies were
shared from the stand point of the "comfort women" who
were forced to become sex slaves of the Japanese
military, survivors of village massacres who experienced
unimaginable suffering during the war with Japan, Ainu
people, Okinawan and Koreans in Japan. We exchanged our
ideas and opinions on how we can take joint action to
prevent the adoption of the Tsukurukai textbooks and to
establish new visions of history education for the
future. We declare that we strengthen solidarity among
Asian people in order to achieve these two aims.

The criticism has been on the rise about the Tsukurukai
textbook in Japan and more than 300 nationwide meetings
on the textbook issue have been held this year. The
Korean and Chinese Governments have already made demands
to the Japanese Government to make corrections on the
Tsukurukai textbook that passed official screening. In
addition a member of the Korean Parliament, and former
"comfort women" did a sit-in in front of the Diet
building to protest against the Japanese Government. And
there have been other protests voiced from various
countries around Asia. This simply and clearly implies
that how dangerous the Tsukurukai textbooks are for
people in Asia.

The first problem with the Tsukurukai history textbook
is its attempts to justify Japan's aggression and
invasion as a war of liberation, liberating Asia from
Western colonialist rule. It legitimates its own
colonialist rule by pointing out that other Asian
countries benefited by their rule. Second, , it is
written by Emperor's historical view (kokokushikan);
instead of pursuing the responsibility of the emperor
for the war, it in fact glorifies the emperor. Third,
it questions the actuality of the Massacre of Nanjing,
and erases from its records any mention of the Japanese
military sexual slavery system, which was largest war
violence in the 20th century (the Comfort Women System),
(the editor stated that writing about the "Comfort
Women" was like writing about the history of the toilet
- adding insult to insult). Fourth, the subject of
history is portrayed as the nation-state and the people
and minorities are absent and not represented. Fifth,
it defends the family system, and emphasizes the "good
wife, wise mother" mold of traditional gender role-based
division of labor, thereby revealing a discriminatory
attitude toward women. In other words, it is a
self-race centered, nation state centered, power
politics centered, male chauvinistic view of history
that pervades its pages.

Such a view of history can also be seen in the
Tsukurukai civics textbook. First it unabashedly calls
for the need to build a nation that can go to war, by
revising the constitution, glorifying the Self-Defense
Force, encouraging overseas dispatchment of forces,
insisting on the right to " collective self-defense ",
emphasizing the threat of DPRK (North Korea) and China,
teaching respect for the national anthem and flag and
national interest and national order, insisting on the
obligation to protect ones own nation from outside
aggression, and affirmation of the need for nuclear
armament. Second, in order to create a militaristic
nation, it plays down the rights and freedoms of
individual citizens, lifting up the priorities of public
welfare. It sees family unity as more important than
the individual. It discriminates and looks down on
foreigners and minorities. And it takes a hostile
position toward citizen's movements, placing national
interest over human rights. They proclaim a nation
centered, anti-foreign, and racist philosophy. Third,
there is no sensitivity to the violence done toward
women, or honoring human rights and male-female equality
education, thereby revealing its discrimination toward

End of quotes.

More contact:


NB: The Media group Fujisankei is the publisher of the
revisionist Fusosha Publishing Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice and informative when you post or comment.
Thank you to visit Asian Gazette Blog of Joel Legendre-Koizumi.