The Japanese Education Ministry Tuesday authorized a new edition of a middle school history textbook which seriously distorted the history.
The Education Ministry said it suggested 124 revisions in the textbook, which is published by the Fuso Publishing and penned by the rightist Society for History Textbook Reform. However, distorted historical contents whitewashing Japan's invasion can be found everywhere in the textbook.
The textbook said the Lugou Bridge (alias Macro Polo Bridge) Incident in north China on July 7, 1937, which marked the beginning of Japan's all-out aggression of China, was triggered by the Chinese side. It also challenged the authenticity of the Nanking Massacre, which wiped out 300,000 Chinese lives in six weeks in Nanjing city since December 13, 1937, and denied Japanese troops' crime in the Nanking Massacre.
The textbook also expressed doubt over the legitimacy of the Tokyo judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after the World War II. The textbook whitewashed Japan's colonial rule of Chinese Taiwan and described its military occupation of northeast China as a development in those areas, and depicting Japan's invasion of Southeast Asia having an opportunity for Asian countries to seek national independence.
The Education Ministry on Tuesday also approved the other seven editions of textbook, in which many historical facts were covered and Japan's war past was glossed over. For example, only one of all the eight editions directly mentioned the issue of "comfort women", two less than the three editions mentioning it in 2001. As to the Naking Massacre, some textbooks replaced the name of "the Naking Massacre" with "the Naking Incidents" and avoided to mention the number of the victims.
Following the release of the new textbook, 16 Japanese non- government groups held a news conference in Tokyo to protest the approval of the distorted history textbook and appealed for preventing the textbook from being adopted in schools.
The Japanese Education Ministry censors textbooks every four years. Private school administrations can choose the approved textbooks, while the public schools will follow the decision of local education committee to adopt their textbooks.