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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 16:23, March 25, 2005
S. Korea takes necessary move to tackle Japanese textbook issue
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On March 23, President Roh Woo-hyun of the Republic of Korea (ROK) published a message to his nationals, strongly condemning Japan's attempt to reverse the verdict on its history of aggression and to seek hegemonism. That same day, South Korea also passed the "plan for dealing with Japan's history-distorted textbook", deciding to bring the issue regarding history textbook to the international arena, such as the UNESCO Conference, etc., which undoubtedly is a telling counterblow to the provocative acts of Japan's Right-wing forces, and is a very necessary move.

The question concerning Japan's history-distorted textbook has long been baffling Asian countries. Concerning this, many Asian countries, including the ROK and China, have persisted in their fight, originally they expected to solve this problem within the scope of bilateral relations. However, politically Japan has taken an abrupt turn to the Right in recent years, it has tried its utmost to play down and beautify its history of aggression and war crimes, and even attempts to make the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine a regular and systemic practice, repeatedly hurting the feelings of the people of various victimized Asian countries. Judged from the current situation, the textbook question seems to be very hard to reach a proper solution within the scope of bilateral relations, therefore, lifting this question from a bilateral scope to the international level and striving to win the international community's concern and support should be regarded as a wise choice.

How to better use the international mechanism to safeguard one's own interests is still a lesson for many Asian countries to learn. Western countries pay great attention to the establishment and utilization of international organizations and international systems, they are good at protecting their own interests and even popularizing their concept of value from a world perspective. They often internationalize the important issues concerning their vital interests in order to win support from the international community. Although Japan's textbook issue has caused great noise for many years in the region, it has not aroused much concern from the international community outside East Asia. From the alarm caused in the United States by the book "Nanjing Massacre" written by Zhang Chunru, a late woman writer of Chinese origin, it can be seen that many Westerners do not know much about Japanese militarists' barbarous acts of aggression.

This year is the 60th anniversary of victory of the world's anti-fascist war. European countries are planning a series of important celebrations. Asian countries should also grasp this opportunity to conduct anti-fascist education, internationalize Japan's textbook issue and enable the international community to have a better understanding of the truth about Japan's aggressive history, that should be the topic meaning. People have every reason to believe that doing so will not only help to bring about an early solution to the textbook issue, but also to educate the younger generations of Japan and various other countries to have a correct understanding of this phase of sad history and to look forward to the future. Japan should also realize that it should have the courage to face up to history and improve its own image if it wants to change its role as a "political dwarf" and to win respect from the international community.

By People's Daily Online

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