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|Friday, December 22, 2000, updated at 17:41(GMT+8)|
Japanese Scholars Appeal for Historical Truth in TextbooksAltogether 60 Japanese scholars on history studies and education jointly issued a letter of appeal on December 21 in Tokyo, demanding respect for history in textbook compilation to foil attempts to distort history through untruthful accounts in textbooks.
Currently, the contents of the year 2002 textbook for junior middle schools, compiled by Japan's "New History Textbook Compilation Committee", have caused much worry and misgiving among Japanese history researchers and educators. The Committee has, since the mid-90s, launched a movement condemning current textbook as containing "self-tyrannical things", claiming that doing so aimed to restore their own history and that they would compile "intuitive knowledge" history textbooks. In April this year, the committee submitted the new edition history textbook to the education ministry for examination and approval.
The lowest standard for history textbook compilation is sticking to the truth, the appeal pointed out. From around 1890 to 1945, Japan had been carrying out a history education based on invented accounts, this had led to Japan's launch of a series of wars, bringing tremendous disasters to people inside and outside Japan. This is a lesson that must never be forgotton.
The Committee justified wars unleashed by Japan, claiming that the "Great East Asia War" was waged to liberate Asia, that although Japan allied itself with Germany and Italy during World War II, its state policy was against racial discrimination, different from that formed by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and fascist chief Benito Mussolini.
As to the issue of colony independence, the "Great East Asia Joint Declaration" published on November 6, 1943 was claimed to be in the same meaning as that of the UN General Assembly in 1960, etc. The fact, however, is that until its defeat in 1945 Japan had been sticking firmly to its principle of "leave Korea to me", attempting to continue its colonial rule there.
Japan had added to its textbook examination standards the principle of " take into consideration the understanding and harmony of the international community", while the Committee went back on its promise to the international community and openly challenged world opinion, Asia in particular, this is a dangerous act that will lead Japan to isolation, the appeal emphasized.
By PD Online Staff Li Heng
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