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Japan rebuffs outcry over new history textbooks

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Why do not China direct their anger to Britain which used opium to deprive China?

British politicians and textbooks don't deny that it happened.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

didnt I see on NHK the other night that they had removed references and testimony from so called comfort women and replaced it with the stories of japanese war orphans left behind in China.They basically said that it was co incidence that the text book reviewers supported the govt stance on this.It did seem a bit disturbing.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

“The starting point of Japan’s coherent path as a peaceful nation is our pledge not to fight a war again and keep peace, based on our deep remorse over the past war.”

Not really deep remorse if you keep re-writing it to make yourself not look bad.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

"Incident?" Are you kidding me? Is that what you call the slaughter of thousands of innocents, live medical experimentation, and all the other horrors involved? Strangerland is right.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

It is not only South Korea and China that are protesting, for years Okinawa has been protesting the whitewashing of what the IJA did to the people of Okinawa.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

It is very sad to see Japan continuing down the path of revisionist history, which will certainly not gain them more respect from most of the rest of the world.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

If you paint a potato gold it doesn't make it a nugget! I tend to agree with China and South Korea in principle, but disagree with their motives.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I think this trend will catch on, the softening of past atrocities:

At Wounded Knee, the US Cavalry politely explained to the Lakota Indians the dangers of guns when a Laokota man's rifle accidentally fired thus killing 200 of his own men, women, and children. They all died because of "friendly fire".

During World War II, The Nazis killed "some" Jewish people, but its still inconclusive if they didn't die of natural causes.

China talked it over with the Dalai Lama and everyone decided it'd be best if China occupied Tibet.

The Australian Frontier Wars was more like The Australian Manifest Destiny and the indigenous population didn't get the memo.

Here are some massacres, which Nanking is listed in the top 25:

http://list25.com/25-most-horrific-massacres-in-history/5/

12 ( +15 / -3 )

And while you're at it, can you tell your ambassadors or student spies or whoever to stop barging into US publishers' (read McGraw-Hill in Hawaii) offices and demanding they correct US history textbooks?

Having your cake and eating it?

Schopenhauer:

It was not only Japan but also Britain, France, Russia, America and other european countries which invaded China. Japan joined later to them.

Can you tell me which country sent their men to rape women and children on a large scale, carry out vivisection on people still conscious, used living people for bayonet practice, spread bubonic plague on purpose, set up camps with sex slaves on a mass scale? Hell, even some Nazis were disgusted.

Oh yeah, did I mention live vivisection on American POWs too?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Japanese lies

1) Comfort women = Voluntary sex workers/prostitutes

2) Massacre = an incident

3) Class A war criminals = War heroes

4) Whale meat at sushi restaurant=scientific whaling

12 ( +17 / -5 )

During World War II, Korean citizens under the colonial rule of Japan were forced to work for Japan's military forces. The Japanese government reviewed this history and proposed that textbooks show they were legal citizens of Japan and, therefore, they were mobilized. In 1937, Japanese troops slaughtered innocent Chinese civilians in Nanking. The Japanese government reviewed this history and proposed that textbooks show that the slaughter was an act carried out under provocation. The textbook "revisions" have triggered a great anger in Asian peoples, those whom the Japanese have been neglecting, looking down upon and exploiting.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"Our country's textbook screening is carried out impartially and neutrally, based on professional and academic deliberations,"

More lies from Suga. The Japanese government and education ministry told the textbook publishers what to include. They also introduced a requirement that textbooks state the government position, otherwise they will not be approved.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The issue of Takeshima/Dokdo has been disputed between the two countries since before the war, so I have no problem with them teaching that in their textbooks. The "Nanking incident" is something that I can't get behind at all though. I've talked with young Japanese people about the rape of Nanking and for the most part none of them know of the atrocities that occurred there thanks to this white-washing of history.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The Japanese live in Asia and so must live and think as other Asians do. Criticism about their textbooks is not just in connection with the printed word, but in connection with a much broader aspect of their national history.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

“Our country’s textbook screening is carried out impartially and neutrally, based on professional and academic deliberations,” Suga told a news conference.

Yeah, right. As "impartial" and "neutral" as Hina.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Until someone in the Japanese government owns up to the countries past ills they will continue to have strife. Using the excuse that there are not records of proof that the crimes happened just wont cut it. There are no records in Japan of the planned attack on Pearl Harbor, but everyone knows it happened. Repentance goes along way when you want closure.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The big difference is that you won't find most of us denying it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Lost in this perennial squabbling where wood can't be seen for the trees lurks the Godzilla of government censorship. How can a (free?) people allow government officials on the people's payroll to insolently arrogate to themselves the power to dictate what is written in school textbooks? Where is the INDIGNATION? Where the bright flame of a proud democracy? The sad answer: "under the pan in which most of us sit complacently as the water warms up until it's too late to prevent Japanese Fascism Redux.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Abe and the LDP are models for how to make enemies and turn off people.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

“Our country’s textbook screening is carried out impartially and neutrally, based on professional and academic deliberations,” Suga told a news conference.

Shame on him. But I presume the term 'shame' means nothing to him.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Here we go again...

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Why does Japan persist in providing more and more ammunition with which Korea and China gleefully shoot it?

A total lie to say that:

Our country’s textbook screening is carried out impartially and neutrally,

The only honest and rational approach for all sides to take is to say that, our country's position is this but other countries' positions may be different. And then find a neutral and/or international forum or mechanism to resolve the dispute once and for all, and stop the silly posturing whereby each side pretends there is no other view. Common textbooks used on both sides would be a great idea. I hope that day comes.

6 ( +9 / -4 )

Well no surprises here, Japan is WILLFULLY continuing to dig its own grave with the lying & whitewashing of its very well known history, its criminal what Japan has done & continues to do to its citizens.

I guess if Nanjing = an "incident"

Then Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombing would equate to perhaps a LOUD Bang & maybe a DOOR Slam respectively..................now of course that is obviously DISGUSTING if I spouted such lies I should be racked over the coals. The govt of Japan clearly has no shame.........another embarrassing day to be living in Japan, I suspect we have a lot more coming in 2015 & beyond!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It will never go away as long as Japan government kept denying it.

http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2007/s1886480.htm

SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (ON APTN – MARCH 27): As I say here and now, I have always expressed my sympathy toward the comfort women and apologise for the situation they found themselves in.”

CAROL RUFF, DAUGHTER: We want the Japanese Government to admit that these women were forcibly recruited and press ganged into these terrible places where these young women were abused for such long periods, so their entire lives were ruined. An apology is not enough. The trouble with people like my Mother is that for a long time they’ve carried a sense of shame, because you feel that somehow you’ve done something wrong. And they haven’t done anything wrong. But that can be righted if someone admits that they were forced.

JAN RUFF-O’HERNE: We want our dignity back, you know. It’s a small thing to ask. And I think if Shenzo Abe would do this he would make himself very popular in his own country.

CAROL RUFF, DAUGHTER: I think that my Mother’s message has gone right through to my daughter’s generation. I’d like to tell Prime Minister Abe that if you can sit out and wait for all these women to die but then there is another generation of women to follow them and another one after me. We will all continue our mother’s work, that’s what we do.

JAN RUFF O’HERNE: When people hear my story, I think the message, the great message is the message of faith and forgiveness. And that these things will never happen again. That is why I tell these stories , I never want any other women to suffer as I did.

http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/netherlands.html

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/07/national/documents-detail-how-imperial-military-forced-dutch-females-to-be-comfort-women/#.VSR8pZOgQ70

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/opinion/comfort-women-and-japans-war-on-truth.html?_r=0

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Dokdo was never in dispute until Japan decided to run Korea as a colony and forced a "treaty" using a puppet government they set in place. In effect making a treaty with themselves.....Japan never did have a claim on Dokdo other than giving it a Japanese name. There must be a reason besides fishing rights for this arguments what else was discovered in the area

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A Japanese education ministry official confirmed that one of the new history textbooks did not refer to the mass killing in Nanjing, while “many others have described it as an incident, not a massacre”.

Disgraceful. Was Pearl Harbor just an "incident" too? Japanese leaders are gutless fools who are allowing their young people to grow up with a false understanding of history. In the long run, this will only further isolate Japan in a world moving towards globalization, and push it further into the irrelevant category. Simply shameful for a country that rightfully takes pride in the samurai moral code that is such a proud part of its history -- where honor was the fundamental value.

3 ( +11 / -7 )

I would argue the key issue in all this swacking is the government (and dare I say society) hasn't signed on to the idea of upholding and promoting human rights.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan had one short period of aggression within about 1,400 years of philosophically advanced civilization, but all you angry white males just can't let go of the war, even though your own civilization stands on blood-soaked ground.

Naw, don't think that's quite correct, ""Japan"" has been at war with ITSELF for ages, what do you think all those FAMOUS Japanese warlords did, run yakitori stands at matsuri at the local castle, hint, no they were out killing each other, but hey now castles are tourist sites, its all good, nothing nasty happened & don't listen to those pesky Chinese or Koreans, they are really just so unappreciative of all the lovely infrastructure Japan built for them, & many of their women GLADLY prostituted themselves for the Japanese troops who were so loving & kind to those people who lived nearby.................

Eh me thinks NOT!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

U.S. also should rebuff Japanese outcry over comfort women textbooks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just an idea, crazy probably and only an idea, but should the world's most revered historians get together and write a history book that can be adopted by all countries? I know it'd be difficult to get a consensus but...

And after translation of course and with the adding of chapters that pertain to that particular country, chapters written by a bipartisan collection of history professors.

What do you think?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wasn't Hiroshima enough? Would they ever learn? Downplaying war crimes, their history, .....

Watch out USA, once the US is no longer superpower, the chronological order will be that nuking of Hiroshima happened before the sneak attack of Pearl Harbor.

1 ( +7 / -7 )

Hey alex80, what is your motivation behind defending or trivialising past war crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Army?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"China has proved much more aggressive against its own people then all the wars combined by Japanese troops. China has no right to criticize Japan."

You have obviously never had a close friend or relative raped, executed, tortured, sexually abused etc etc have you "Japangirl!?"

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kotoba,

Wow!!! That was some read! A fair bit of fantasy thrown in for sure, entertaining!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Psyops

I'm not sure if you really know what's going on. But one American history textbook published by McGraw-Hill has some statement on comfort women. So Japanese government asked them to correct it. But McGraw-Hill and its author historian "rebuffed" Japanese demand to correct its statement.

I guess there will be more demand by the Japanese to correct it in the future. What I meant is U.S. should rebuff it even if there is another demand.

There is already the 2nd trial (below article) by Japanese historians to correct its statement over comfort women issue.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japanese-historians-contest-textbooks-description-of-comfort-women/2015/03/17/6e5422e3-09a3-4d96-a520-8a5767ab93e4_story.html?wprss=rss_world

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can you tell me which country sent their men to rape women and children on a large scale, carry out vivisection on people still conscious, used living people for bayonet practice, spread bubonic plague on purpose, set up camps with sex slaves on a mass scale? Hell, even some Nazis were disgusted.

I agree that these are all terrible atrocities, but I don't think it's really worthwhile to argue about one country's atrocities being worse the another's. There might be some truth in such arguments, but let's face it, almost every country has done terrible things in the past. The important thing is to own up to them in a genuine effort to move forward. That's where Japan seems to be lacking unfortunately.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“Our country’s textbook screening is carried out impartially and neutrally, based on professional and academic deliberations,” Suga told a news conference.

Then why can't the publishing companies get contracts unless they side with the government's position?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Japan is so right, why does U.S. maintain neutrality on the issue of sovereignty of Dokdo? The U.S. lists Liancourt Rocks under the administration of the Repbublic of Korea. The incorporation in 1905 by Japan was illegal. Before then, there have been no Japanese claims. If japan bases its claims only on the 1905 incorporation, there is no need for Korea to rely on the opinion of the U.S. or the international community.

In the early 1870's the Japanese considered Usando to be a neighboring island of Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks. In 1895, the Japanese realized that Usando was Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, but in the early 1870's, Japanese believed that Usando was to the west of Ulleungdo. At the time, there is no Japanese map that shows Usando as Liancourts. They all show it as a neighboring island of Ulleungdo. In 1877, the Japanese had come to realize that Usando was Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ kaiser90 - no we don't, as sad as it is it did not affect the US. the comfort women is not an American issue, so we don't care, with a few hippie exceptions.

The big take away here is the strong will survive and the weak will fall by the wayside. Korea was weak against Japan and Japan was weak against the US. The victor will write history as he sees fit.

Looking into Korean history, seems everyone has kicked its behind at all stages of its history. :P

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As for the island issue, I doubt the textbooks state or even hint Japan is willing to go to war to take possession. It's simply a claim, nothing more. The "massacre" vs. "incident" wording is debatable. If Japanese textbooks (and I haven't read the full text) acknowledge that many innocent Chinese civilians suffered at the hands of Japanese troops, then it's seems more like a matter of semantics.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

McGraw-Hill Textbook Hoaxes http://www.howitzer.jp/korea/page43.html

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Funny. Doesn't Koreas text books use the same debated government view?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think this trend will catch on, the softening of past atrocities

This trend already does exist to explain some currenct wars, called wars of liberation, or preventive wars, when they are illegal aggressions.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Jim McBrideApr. 08, 2015 - 08:21PM JST

Dokdo was never in dispute until Japan decided to run Korea as a colony and forced a "treaty" using a puppet government they set in place.

There is no record that any Korean had ever landed on Dogdo/Takeshima before around 1905.

Koreans claim Usando in old Korean documents is Dogdo, but the very documents state Usando is also known as Ulleung-do, which is 80 km away from Dogdo.

Koreans claim Seogdo in Korean Imperial Edict in 1900 is Dogdo, based on the speculation that Seogdo could be Tolseom and that Tolseom could be Dokto, with no evidence to suport the speculation.

Korean has no name for Dogdo until recently. If you could find the Korean name for Dogdo used in 19th century, please let me know.

sfjp330Apr. 09, 2015 - 05:32AM JST

If Japan is so right, why does U.S. maintain neutrality on the issue of sovereignty of Dokdo?

Because US has nothing to gain and can only lose by intervening into this dispute. There was a reply letter from the State Department to the telegram sent from MacArthur II in 1960, instructing him to stay neutral, for intervention will put US in a position of "Judgment of Paris," where the man was cursed by the losing godesses just by making a judgment.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Isn't the the Nanjing confusion because of this... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Incident and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

They're two separate events

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Pardon me, but America did not invade China.

Now on a different note, Japan needs ti except what happened and move on. Embarrassed about the past? So what! Change it by excepting it! America for one did. In American textbooks they say Anglosaxons (Americans), SLAUGHTERED the NATIVE AMERICAN creating a MASSACRE.Why can't Japan state this? It is fact, fact, fact. The Japanese military raped 10~15 yr old girls in both Korea and China to entertain their troops. Even soldiers that have recently perished said this. Korea and China both will back off if they say this in the textbooks. It is SO easy to fix. It amazes me that Japan tries to be humble in most activities in their daily life, but when it comes to their militarism, they shy away saying that had reason to rule just like Hitler.

As for Dokdo, ha Korea! It is part o Japan and even has been mapped out after the war. Takeshima, Senkaku and parts of northern Hokkaido are all Japanese territories. Korea, YOU need to become friends with your northern neighbors if you want more land. China, go west for your land, NOT east. Also your country is big enough,

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Christianity has been responsible, either directly or indirectly, for countless killings, tortures, wars, witch-hunts, slavery, rapes, sexual abuse, aggressive colonization of non-Western lands, and obfuscation of its own dark past, yet they still persist in teaching it to children in the west, particularly the U.S.

Japan had one short period of aggression within about 1,400 years of philosophically advanced civilization, but all you angry white males just can't let go of the war, even though your own civilization stands on blood-soaked ground.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Agree. The topics are always the same. It's not even the case to dicuss anymore!

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Schopenhauer,

You made a good point but it doesn't really resolve the issue.

Say there are 8 bullies and a weak boy gets beat up. What you're saying is the weak boy is unfair because now, grown up, he remembers his experience, only picks the issue with one of the bullies and not all 8 of them. He should in choose to pick on all of the bullies probably as you suggest.

The eight countries of the Eight-Nation Alliance were UK, USA, France, Russia, Netherlands, Italy, and Austria. You have a point China's vindictiveness should be applied to all 7 other nations and not only Japan. I have heard that the Chinese are taught to remember the shame of this period of history, not specifically one country. I suspect the difference in treatment is due to how these 8 countries have responded to the past.

Japan is not singled out but rather feels more of the vengeance due to such incidents such as the Nanjing accident where only a hundred people died instead of the 300,000 that is way exaggerated. dws

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

China says 300,000 civilians and soldiers died in a spree of killing, rape and destruction in the six weeks after the Japanese military entered the then-capital on December 13, 1937.

Here is the link to the Ruling of International Military Tribunal for the Far East. http://werle.rewi.hu-berlin.de/tokio.pdf

Estimates made at a later date indicate that the total number of civilians and prisoners of war ordered in Nanking and its vicinity during the first six weeks of the Japanese occupation was over 200,000. That these estimates are not exaggerated is borne out by the fact that burial societies and other organizations counted more than 155,000 bodies which they buried.

The burial report. http://lib.law.virginia.edu/imtfe/content/page-1-2466

The original report in Chinese with photos of the sites. http://lib.law.virginia.edu/imtfe/content/page-15-210

Don't worry, the photos show nothing but the earth.

In each of the sites 1 to 16, a few hundered to several thausand of corpses were buried, totaling 17,602.

In site 17 alone, 26,612 corpses were buried.

With site 21, total number was 46,915.

And there were other 3 sites, which were "too far to take photos" for inspection, where 78,106 corpses were buried, making the grand total at 125,021. How convincing!

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

GW, you know nothing about Japanese history.

Philosophically, Japan has been, and remains, the most civilised country on Earth. Politically, there was a divide that lasted for many centuries between the samurai class and the common people. Wars were fought at times for political reasons, but those wars were between samurai and samurai. They didn't go about raping or butchering civilians. Nor does Japan have any period that you could equate with the Spanish inquisition, or the various witch hunts. And, they washed. Not like those stinking Europeans.

From 1600 to 1853 there was.... Peace! Compare that to western history during the same time. Go on!

The issues often debated here are about C20th events, and a reading of Japanese history will show that Japan found itself surrounded by aggressive western and Russian colonial interests. Its Meiji constitution, and military build-up were a response to the real world.

Confucianism and Shintoism have both, in their own ways, imbued Japanese society and culture with a level of aesthetic advancement, ethical behaviour and mutual respect that are unique in this world.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Korean lies

1) Comfort women were drafted by Japan.

http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers. -- UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION, Psychological Warfare Team

2) Takeshima/Dogdo belongs to Korea

http://ja.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=%E3%83%B4%E3%82%A1%E3%83%B3%E3%83%BB%E3%83%95%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88%E7%89%B9%E5%91%BD%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A%E6%9B%B8&oldid=41226

4 Ownership of Dokto Island

When the Treaty of Peace with Japan was being drafted, the Republic of Korea asserted its claims to Dokto but the United States concluded that they remained under Japanese sovereignty and the Island was not included among the Islands that Japan released from its ownership under the Peace Treaty. -- Report of Van Fleet mission to the Far East, 1954

3) The sea between Korea and Japan was called the "East Sea" from ancient times.

It was never called the "East Sea" in the English language. "Dong Hea" maybe, but never the "East Sea."

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Why do not China direct their anger to Britain which used opium to deprive China?

Because it's not in China strategical agenda.

-12 ( +10 / -22 )

Schopenhauer,

You made a good point but it doesn't really resolve the issue.

Say there are 8 bullies and a weak boy gets beat up. What you're saying is the weak boy is unfair because now, grown up, he remembers his experience, only picks the issue with one of the bullies and not all 8 of them. He should in choose to pick on all of the bullies probably as you suggest.

The eight countries of the Eight-Nation Alliance were UK, USA, France, Russia, Netherlands, Italy, and Austria. You have a point China's vindictiveness should be applied to all 7 other nations and not only Japan. I have heard that the Chinese are taught to remember the shame of this period of history, not specifically one country.

Japan is not singled out but rather feels more of the vengeance due to such incidents such as the Nanjing accident where only a hundred people died instead of the 300,000 that is way exaggerated. dws

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Can you tell me which country sent their men to rape women and children on a large scale, carry out vivisection on people still conscious, used living people for bayonet practice, spread bubonic plague on purpose, set up camps with sex slaves on a mass scale? Hell, even some Nazis were disgusted.

Plenty of them did committ similar atrocities, and please, don't be naive with that "even the Nazis were disgusted", when they produced buttons shirt by using Jews' bones.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

@ CH3CHO - 100% agreed

I think the best fix for Japan is to acknowledge that Imperial Japan did evil things. All the blame goes to the government of Imperial Japan. SK and china and Japan can all get together and blame Imperial Japan for all the suffering (did I mention Imperial Japan doesn't exist and current Japan has nothing to do with the atrocities? Thank you A-bomb for eradicating such an evil government.) so its a win-win for everyone! Also SK and China and Japan can sue Imperial Japan via time machine (again, current Japan is not responsible for what Imperial Japan did in WW2)

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

China is not looking squarely at the history. It was not only Japan but also Britain, France, Russia, America and other european countries which invaded China. Japan joined later to them. China became a semi colonial country after losing to Britain in the Opium War. Why do not China direct their anger to Britain which used opium to deprive China?

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

China has proved much more aggressive against its own people then all the wars combined by Japanese troops. China has no right to criticize Japan.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

British politicians and textbooks don't deny that it happened.

I doubt they apologized, though.

-20 ( +9 / -29 )

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