Opinion / Editorials

Japan's new textbooks deceitful and harmful

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-09 07:45

Japan's new textbooks deceitful and harmful

A still, captured from a report broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV), shows an exhibit set up at the Kyushu University Medical Science museum in Japan that shows evidence of university faculty members conducting a vivisection on a captured US pilot in 1945. [Photo:]

Japan's new textbook revisions provide another example of how the Japanese government, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has plotted one trick after another to whitewash Japan's history of aggression.

On Monday, Japan's education ministry approved some textbooks on history, civics and geography to be adopted by high schools next year. The move immediately drew indignation from China and the Republic of Korea as the revisions contain falsities about the country's wartime atrocities as well as its territorial disputes with its neighbors.

For example, in the new textbooks, China's Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islets are described as Japan's, while the Nanjing Massacre is ambiguously worded as "captives and civilians were involved" and "casualties were exposed", compared with the previous wording that the Japanese Imperial Army "killed many captives and civilians".

China holds abundant historical and legal evidence to prove that the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets belong to China. No matter how Japan tries to trumpet its claim to the islands, it will never change the fact that China has sovereignty over them.

As to the Nanjing Massacre, there is irrefutable proof that it happened. Only the Japanese have trouble recognizing it.

The textbook whitewashing of the past marks another step in Japan's pathetic retrogression in recent years, and shows the country is determined to try and gloss over its wartime past and brainwash its youths.

One day after the textbook revisions were revealed, Japan issued its annual "blue book" on foreign policies, alleging that it remains committed to its path as a peace-loving nation, as it has been over the past 70 years since the end of World War II based on "deep remorse".

Considering its deliberate and habitual distortion of historical facts, which has once again been displayed in its textbooks, how can Japan possibly convince others, the countries it victimized during WWII in particular, that it feels deep remorse for its war crimes?

The Abe administration's refusal to accept the truth of history has naturally drawn the concern of Asian countries. Japan's attempts to deny or water down its wartime atrocities have not only undermined trust between Japan and its neighbors, but also thrown its relations with these nations into the freezer.

For Japan to become a trustworthy neighbor or a respected member of the international community, an honest and responsible approach to history is a prerequisite.

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