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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 09:42, August 29, 2004
Japan's rightists doomed to failure in reattempting to distort history
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The reattempt of Japan's rightists to gloss over the history of aggressive wars in a subreptitious textbook is doomed to failure due to profound concerns and strong protests from the public in Japan and the countries that fell victim to the wars.

On Thursday, the textbook was approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education (TMBE) for use next April at a junior-high school adjunct to Hakuo High School, which will be Tokyo's first six-year secondary school run by the metropolitan government.

The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, a rightist group in the country, began to compile the textbook in 1997. It was intended to distort history and whitewash wars of aggression launched by Japanese militarists.

The textbook passed the screening by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in April 2001, thus adding fuel to a fierce domestic protest and debate.

It has also aroused a strong criticism from the international community, which condemned the feigned textbook glossing over Japan's aggression history and wartime atrocities.

Although the rightists have been clamoring for the adoption of the textbook, there was no market for the notorious book, which was accepted by only 0.0097 percent of all schools in Japan.

But the TMBE's decision indicated once again that currently in Japan, a handful of ultra rightist forces are still trying by every means to reverse the verdict on Japan's wars of aggression in the past, a verdict which was based on conclusive evidence.

Among five TMBE members who supported the textbook, four are followers of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, Japan's most notorious ultra rightist. As a result, the acceptance by the TMBE of such a subreptitious textbook is no surprise.

People cannot but ask: Whom is the board siding with? Why do the rightists continuously compile textbooks based on their own views of history despite universally-recognized facts and evidence?

In fact, it is the Japanese rightists' customary tactics to distort history and impart to younger generations an erroneous or even reactionary view of history through textbooks.

The public in Japan have always expressed disgust the rightists who talked nonsense and played ignominious roles in history-distorting incidents. The rightist politicians have to resign or recall their subreptitious words amid protests and criticism.

Japanese citizens have also showed dislike to noise pollution produced by the rightists' agitprop vehicles fleeing hither and thither street by street and broadcasting militarism songs with loudspeakers.

In face of strong condemnation by public opinions both at home and abroad, the rightists' militarism activities have a trend of fadeaway amid dominant request for peace.

However, despite more secluded and fraudulent tricks, the rightists' nature of distorting historical facts and glorifying wars of aggression remained unchanged. It urged all peace-loving people in the world including the Japanese people to stay vigilant.

There are still dozens of rightist scholars, professors and celebrities preaching ultranationalism and regarding descriptions of Japan's actions before and during World War II in conventional history textbooks as "masochistic."

The rightist scholars also insisted on the so-called "correct history education" to develop Japanese nation's "superiority complex." They also attempted to push for the use of the textbook in all Tokyo schools.

Apparently, the rightists' attempt to keep the young people in the dark about the real history through the textbooks will result in nothing but do harm to Japan's coming generations.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that in today's Japan, many Japanese with conscience are staging a tit-for-tat struggle against the small group of ultra rightists on the textbook issue.

Thousands of justice-holding Japanese history scholars and teachers have voiced their appeal that history should not be taught with textbooks twisting historical facts.

The Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21, one of the citizengroups against the textbook, protested the adoption, saying the board made the decision in defiance of objections and without listening to opinions of teachers.

The group said in a statement that it will demand the board review the decision.

An alliance of citizen groups has presented the board with signatures of about 29,000 people against adopting the textbook.

Moreover, many Japanese media organizations published articles upholding justice and respect for history. The leading Asahi Daily carried an editorial Friday saying that the textbook "lacks justice and impartiality and is improper for classroom use."

Therefore, it can be seen that the small group of Japanese ultra rightists will never realize their attempts to gloss over history under the overwhelming force for peace and justice.

Source: Xinhua

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