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Written lies can never cover up bloody facts
Updated: 2005-04-06 14:34

The Japanese Education Ministry on Tuesday defied protests from other Asian countries and gave the green light to the revised middle school history textbook which blatantly distorted history and glorified Japan's invasion of its neighboring countries more than half a century ago.

The endorsement will undoubtedly further strain Japan's relations with Asian neighbors which have been uneasy over Japan'sreluctance to acknowledge its war crimes and apologize for its atrocities. Japan is losing trust among its Asian neighbors.

The new textbook, compiled by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, a right-wing group, is fraught with misleading information and in some cases, groundless fabrications which seek to eulogize Japan's ruthless colonization of other Asian countriesand harsh exploitation of their people during the World War II.

Take the Nanking Massacre in 1937 for example, when Japanese troops ghastly slaughtered more than 300,000 Chinese in over 40 days. The mass killing was only mentioned in just one short sentence: "Chinese soldiers and civilians suffered many casualtiesdue to Japanese troops."

According to the book, Japan's 1931 occupation of China's northeastern provinces, which were rich in natural resources, was nothing to be blamed for. The text book does not mention Japan's history of aggression and its crime but says "the Manchukuo (a puppet regime created by the Japanese) witnessed economic growth and significant personnel inflow."

Over the motive for Japan to launch the war, it says, Japan "initially wanted to acquire resources... but (the war) also offered an opportunity to accelerate independent movements in Asian countries."

The textbook depicts its soldiers killed and abused civilians of other countries as were following the common practice in the world.

It is not hard to imagine what impact it would have on young people if such lie-riddled textbooks are adopted in middle schoolsin Japan. And the books' compilers are seeking to expand its market share to 10 percent, or 130,000 copies.

The reason why the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reformcould successfully release such a textbook because they have received supports and encouragement from some high-ranking officials of the Japanese government.

Japanese Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama, the chief textbook supervisor of the government, said last year that it wasgood that the words "forced labor" and "comfort women" were removed from history textbooks.

Japan's Senior Vice Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said recently that it was not appropriate to include the word "comfort women" in junior high school textbooks.

Such remarks are only part of their backs for the right-wing group's efforts to distort history textbook.

Apart from the textbook issue, we also noticed that the Japanese leadership has never stopped visiting the Yasukuni Shrine,where 14 Class A war criminals of WWII are honored, despite strongopposition from other Asian nations.

Japanese court also did what they could to shift responsibilities from Japanese government during the lawsuits against Japan over the cases of comfort women and its bio-chemicalexperimentation unit 731 during its invasion in China.

Moreover, instead of reflecting on their war-time wrongdoing, some senior officials accused China's patriotism education of an "Anti-Japanese" one.

The distorted textbook triggered wide-spread furies from the peoples and governments of China, South Korea and other Asian nations following its content was released.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said the Japanese government and people should face its colonial history instead of telling lies to their younger generations.

He said Japan must have a deep reflection on its history in order to win trust and respect from neighboring countries and the international community.

The textbook is not welcomed in Japan either and 16 non-governmental peace-promotion groups held a joint-press conference in protests against the endorsement of the seriously distorted history textbook by the education ministry.

Men of insight have pointed out, Japan is trying all out to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the United Nations, as a world body that is responsible for the whole international community, requires the country applying for such a role to be responsible too.

How come a country that repeatedly distorted its history be allowed to assume such an important role? they asked.

The crimes committed by Japan's militarists during WWII are irrefutable. Japan has to adopt a correct attitude towards the history and draw lessons from the past and stick to the road of peaceful development in order to win trust from peoples of other Asian countries.

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