New textbook reveals Japan's atrocities
A new history textbook aiming to put right mistakes made in a Japanese version will be published by scholars from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The new book, named "A Common Book on the History of East Asian Countries," should go public next year, when Japanese textbooks will be inspected by the Japanese education authorities for approval, said Bu Ping, deputy director of the Institute of Modern History Research at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Japanese textbooks are inspected every four years.
Bu said the disputed Japanese textbook, which was written by a group of right-wing Japanese academics, was approved in 2001 for use in high schools.
It failed to mention the atrocities the nation committed against the Chinese in World War II.
The new book was spearheaded by a Japanese scholar who attended the First Forum for History Recognition and East Asian Peace held in 2002 in Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province. The forum has been held every year since then.
Participants echoed the scholar's proposal and got together to compile what they said should be a true account of the period.
More than 30 scholars from the three countries worked on the first draft, which was completed in May.
Seven meetings about the book have been held over the past two years and an eighth session will start in September in Beijing.
"It is difficult to agree on historical truth for people from different countries and different cultural backgrounds, but it can and must be done for the future of our children's education," said Bu, one of the authors.
"We have reached agreement from the academic sector at last," he said. The final version should be finished in January.
Difficulties in translation have also held up the compilation. .
The book aims to give a full account of the history of east Asian countries from the mid-19th century to the end of world War II, in 1945.
It will be published at the same time in three languages.