Japanese history textbook controversies
Japanese history textbook controversies refers to controversial content in government-approved history textbooks used in the secondary education (junior high schools and high schools) of Japan. The controversies primarily concern what some international observers perceive to be Japanese nationalist efforts to whitewash the actions of the Empire of Japan during WWII.
Also at issue is the constitutionality of the governmentally-approved textbook depictions of World War II, Japanese war crimes, and Japanese imperialism during the first half of the 20th century. The history textbook controversies have been an issue of deep concern both domestically and internationally, particularly in states which were victims of Imperial Japan during the war.
Despite the efforts of the nationalist textbook reformers, by the late 1990s the most common Japanese schoolbooks contained references to, for instance, the Nanking Massacre, Unit 731, and the comfort women of WWII, all historical issues which have faced challenges from ultranationalists in the past. The most recent of the controversial textbooks, the New History Textbook, published in 2000, was shunned by "nearly all of Japan's school districts".
School textbooks in Japan are not written by the Ministry of Education. Instead, the textbooks for all subjects in elementary, and both lower and upper secondary schools are written and published by several major private companies. This system was introduced to Japan after World War II to avoid government having direct authority over the written contents. Japan's School Education Law (ÆÈฒÅบÆฌÆณ) requires schools to use textbooks that are authorized by the Ministry of Education (MEXT). However, each local education board has the final authority to select which textbooks can be used in their jurisdiction from the approved list.
In Japan, a potential school textbook must pass a sequence of evaluations before receiving approval to be used in Japanese schools. First, textbook companies submit a draft of their proposed textbook to the Japanese Ministry of Education. The Textbook Authorization and Research Council (ÆçงçจÅณÆธÆคÅฎšÈช¿Æ»ÅฏฉÈญฐäผš), an official council of the Ministry of Education, composed of university professors, high-school and junior high teachers, checks the draft in accordance with the Ministry's educational curriculum guidelines (Åญฆç¿ÆÅฐŽÈฆÉ ) to ensure that the contents of the proposed textbook is "objective, impartial, and free from errors." The Ministry of Education will give the company that authored the textbook the opportunity to revise the draft when it is found to contain information that is inconsistent with national guidelines. Once the textbook revisions are complete and the textbook has received the approval of the Ministry of Education, Local Boards of Education select books from a list of authorized textbooks for schools under their jurisdiction. The process of textbook authorization is ongoing and conducted every four years, the results of which are presented to the public the following year.
Critics claim that the government textbook authorization system has been used to reject textbooks that depict Imperial Japan in a negative light. This includes a case in the 1960s where a description of the Nanjing Massacre and other war crimes committed by the Japanese military before and during World War II was rejected by the Ministry of Education. The author sued the Ministry, finally winning the case decades later. Recent controversy focuses on the approval of a history textbook published by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, which placed emphasis on the achievements of pre-World War II Imperial Japan, as well as a reference to the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere with fewer critical comments compared to the other Japanese history textbooks. Reflecting Japanese tendency towards self-favoring historical revisionism, historian Stephen Ambrose noted that "The Japanese presentation of the war to its children runs something like this: 'One day, for no reason we ever understood, the Americans started dropping atomic bombs on us.'"
Defenders of the system counter that a book which fails to mention specific negative facts regarding the aggression and atrocities committed by Japan during World War II would also fail the Ministry of Education's approval process. During the approval process for the aforementioned history textbook by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the author was ordered to revise the book's content several times before receiving final approval. Moreover, during the Cold War, the Ministry rejected textbooks by left-leaning publishers which attempted to portray Soviet, Mainland China, North Korea and other Communist countries in a positive light. Defenders also point out that during the 1960s and 1970s, the extent of the atrocities, as well as the existence of many of the incidents, were still being debated by Japanese historians; therefore, the Ministry of Education was correct in rejecting references to specific atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre during that era, but the Ministry finally insisted on the inclusion of those same incidents after Japanese historians had finally reached consensus during the 1990s. They also point out that, North and South Korea, as well as China, which happen to be the most outspoken critics of the Japanese textbook approval process, do not allow private publishing companies to write history textbooks for their schools. Instead, the governments of those countries write a single history textbook for all of their schools. Critics of Chinese and Korean textbooks also argue that the textbooks of those countries are far more politically censored and self-favoring than Japanese textbooks. 
Today there are 30 unique textbooks for Social Studies (çคพäผš Shakai), from 5 different publishers, in Japanese primary schools. Additionally, there are 8 unique textbooks for the study of history as part of the Japanese Social Studies curriculum (çคพäผš-ÆญดÅฒçšÅÉŽ Shakai-Rekishi teki bunya), from 8 different publishers, for junior high schools. In Japanese high schools, the number of available options is much greater, with 50 unique textbook editions available for teaching Japanese, and world, history.
 The beginning of school textbook screening (1947)
The current textbook authorization system began in 1947 under the direction of the U.S.-led Supreme Commander, Allied Powers (SCAP) authority during Japan's post-World War II occupation. SCAP ordered the provisional government of Japan to end the system of government-designated textbooks (ÅฝÅฎšÆçงÆธ Kokutei KyÅkasho) and allow scholars in the private sector to write textbooks. Local educators would then choose which textbooks to use at their schools. Descriptions that promoted militarism and ultranationalism were eliminated, and the new idea to promote the dignity of the individual (ÅäบบใฎÅฐŠÅŽณ) was introduced. The New School Education Law states that while the government sets a curriculum guideline, it is not meant to establish a fixed, uniform line for all educators to observe, like in the old militarist days, but rather to help educators to creatively adapt the curriculum to the new demands of children and society in general.
 Major controversies
Tokushi Kasahara identifies three time periods in postwar Japan during which he asserts the Japanese government has "waged critical challenges to history textbooks in attempts to tone down or delete descriptions of Japanâs wartime aggression, especially atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre." The first challenge occurred in 1955, and the second took place in the early 1980s. The third began in 1997 and continues unresolved to this day.
 âUreubeki KyÅkashoâ issue (1955)
At the general election of February 1955, the Japan Democratic Party proposed an idea that while editing of school textbooks might be left to the private sector, the government ought to supervise them and limit the kinds of textbooks to about two for each subject by tightening the authorization, so that the textbooks in effect would be equivalent to government-designated textbooks.
At the Special Committee on Administrative Inspection of the house of the House of Representatives in July of the same year Kazutomo Ishii (çณäบäธÆ) of Japan Democratic Party suggested that textbooks that could overthrow the principle of the education of Japan are about to be published. Those textbooks have the following characteristics, he argued:
- They depict that the life of the working class of Japan is extremely horrible, intentionally and more than necessary, so that it is a product of the defect of the social system and of the contradiction of capitalism.
- They extol the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China very emphatically, seeming to suggest that Japan should be subservient to them.
In addition, from August to October of the same year, Japan Democratic Party published three volumes of booklets entitled "Ureubeki KyÅkasho" (ใใใในใÆçงÆธ, deplorable textbooks). The first volume listed four types of bias as "examples of biased education that appeared in textbooks":
- Ones that unconditionally support the labor union of teachers and Japan Teachers Union, and advance their political activities: Miyahara Seiichi (ÅฎฎÅŽÈช äธ) ed., social studies textbook for high school, Ippan Shakai (äธÈฌçคพäผš), published from Jikkyo Shuppan (ÅฎÆÅบç).
- Ones that hype how horrible the predicament of the Japanese workers are, and thereby advances a radical and destructive labor movement: Munakata Seiya (ÅฎÅÈช äน) ed., social studies textbook for junior high school, Shakai no Shikumi (çคพäผšใฎใใใ¿), published from KyÅiku Shuppan (ÆÈฒÅบç).
- Ones that particularly glorify and extol the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, and castigate Japan: Sugo Hiroshi (ÅจÉทÅš) ed., social studies textbook for 6th grade, Akarui Shakai (ใใใใçคพäผš), published from ChuukyÅ Shuppan (äธญÆÅบç).
- Ones that instill children with Marxist-Leninist, i.e. communist ideas: Osada Arata (ÉทçฐÆฐ) ed., social studies textbook for junior high school, Mohan Chuugaku Shakai (Æจ¡çฏäธญÅญฆçคพäผš), published from JikkyÅ Shuppan (ÅฎÆÅบç).
Japan Democratic Party condemned these textbooks as biased "red textbooks" (ÈตคใÆçงÆธ). In response to this, the authors and editors of the listed textbooks made various public statements and protest notes. However, Japan Democratic Party did not answer back. Since this incident a greater number of textbooks had been rejected as being biased (ÅÅ).
The resulting changes resulted in one-third of pre-existing textbooks being banned from Japanese schools. The Ministry of Education required that new textbooks avoided criticism of Japanese involvement in the Pacific War, and avoid mention of Japanese invasion of China and involvement in the Second Sino-Japanese War at all.
 "Section F" purge (1956)
Textbook screening in 1956, right after a change of the members of Textbook Authorization Research Council (ÆçงçจÅณÆธÆคÅฎšÈช¿Æ»ÅฏฉÈญฐäผš) in September of the previous year, failed six drafts of textbooks, a significantly greater number than before. The evaluations of drafts by the Council had been noted by five letters from A to E, each representing the evaluation of a member in the Council. At 1955's screening, however, there was an additional section F that was considered responsible for the rejection of all the six drafts. Over this incident professor Iwao Takayama (É«ÅฑฑÅฒฉçท) of Nihon University who newly joined the Council was suspected be the writer of section F, and the news media reported the incident as the "Section F purge" (FÉ
ใใผใธ, "F-ko paaji").
 Ienaga v. Japan (1965â1997)
Main article: Saburo Ienaga
Saburo Ienaga was a Japanese historian infamous for controversies regarding school history textbooks. In 1953, the Japanese Ministry of Education published a textbook by Ienaga, but censored what they said were factual errors and matters of opinion, regarding Japanese war crimes. Ienaga undertook a series of law suits against the Ministry for violation of his freedom of speech. He was nominated for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize by Noam Chomsky among others.
 Neighboring Country Clause (1982)
On June 26, 1982, the Japanese textbook authorization system became a major diplomatic issue for the first time when Asahi Shimbun, one of the big three leading national newspapers in Japan, reported that the Ministry of Education demanded a textbook, which stated that the Japanese army invaded (äพตçฅ) Northern China, be rewritten using the phrase "advanced (ÉฒÈ¡) into" instead of invaded. Having heard this news the Chinese government strongly protested to Japan. In response, on August 26, 1982, Kiichi Miyazawa, then the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, made the following statement:
- The Japanese Government and the Japanese people are deeply aware of the fact that acts by our country in the past caused tremendous suffering and damage to the peoples of Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China, and have followed the path of a pacifist state with remorse and determination that such acts must never be repeated. Japan has recognized, in the Japan-ROK Joint Communiquรฉ of 1965, that the "past relations are regrettable, and Japan feels deep remorse," and in the Japan-China Joint Communiquรฉ, that Japan is "keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war and deeply reproaches itself." These statements confirm Japan's remorse and determination which I stated above and this recognition has not changed at all to this day.
- This spirit in the Japan-ROK Joint Communiquรฉ and the Japan-China Joint Communiquรฉ naturally should also be respected in Japan's school education and textbook authorization. Recently, however, the Republic of Korea, China, and others have been criticizing some descriptions in Japanese textbooks. From the perspective of building friendship and goodwill with neighboring countries, Japan will pay due attention to these criticisms and make corrections at the Government's responsibility.
- To this end, in relation to future authorization of textbooks, the Government will revise the Guideline for Textbook Authorization after discussions in the Textbook Authorization and Research Council and give due consideration to the effect mentioned above. Regarding textbooks that have already been authorized, Government will take steps quickly to the same effect. As measures until then, the Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Culture will express his views and make sure that the idea mentioned in 2. Above is duly reflected in the places of education.
- Japan intends to continue to make efforts to promote mutual understanding and develop friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring countries and to contribute to the peace and stability of Asia and, in turn, of the world.
In November 1982 the Ministry of Education adopted a new authorization criterion, the so-called "Neighboring Country Clause" (È¿ÉšฃÈ«ธÅฝÆ¡É
): Textbooks ought to show understanding and seek international harmony in their treatment of modern and contemporary historical events involving neighboring Asian countries (È¿ÉšฃใฎใขใธใขÈ«ธÅฝใจใฎÉใฎÈ¿çพä»ฃใฎÆญดÅฒçšäบÈฑ¡ใฎÆฑใใ«ÅฝÉšçÈงฃใจÅฝÉšÅÈช¿ใฎÈฆÅฐใใÅ¿
 New History Textbook
In 2000, Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, a group of conservative scholars, published New History Textbook (Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho, ÆฐใใÆญดÅฒÆçงÆธ) that was intended to promote a revised view of Japan. The textbook downplays or whitewashes the nature of Japan's military aggression in the First Sino-Japanese War, in Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and in World War II. The textbook was approved by the Ministry of Education in 2001, and caused a huge controversy in Japan, China and Korea. A large number of Japanese historians and educators protested against the content of New History Textbook and its treatment of Japanese wartime activities. China Radio International reported that the PRC government and people were "strongly indignant about and dissatisfied with the new Japanese history textbook for the year 2002 compiled by right-wing Japanese scholars".
Subsequently, the New History Textbook was used by only 0.039% of junior high schools in Japan as of August 15, 2001. According to the Society, there are currently eight private junior high schools, one public school for the disabled in Tokyo, three public junior high schools and four public schools for the disabled in Ehime that use their textbook (Mainichi Shimbun, September 27, 2004).
Anti-Japanese demonstrations were held in the spring of 2005 in China and South Korea to protest against New History Textbook.
In 2007, former education minister Nariaki Nakayama declared he was proud that the Liberal Democratic Party had succeeded in getting references to "wartime sex slaves" struck from most authorized history texts for junior high schools. "Our campaign worked, and people outside government also started raising their voices." He also declared that he agreed with an e-mail sent to him saying that the "victimized women in Asia should be proud of being comfort women".
 2007 passage change on forced World War II suicides
Japan orders history books to change passages on forced suicides during World War II. In June 2007, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly officially asked the Ministry of Education of Japan to retract its instruction to downplay the military's role in mass suicide in Okinawa in 1945. More than 100,000 people in Okinawa rallied against the text book changes at the end of September. According to the Kyodo News agency, it was the biggest staged rally on the island since its 1972 return to Japanese rule. Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima spoke to the crowds, commenting that the Japanese military's involvement in the mass suicides should not be forgotten.
Some examples of descriptions of controversial war-related events from government-approved Japanese history textbooks:
 Junior high school history textbook, 1983
Kaitei Atarashii Shakai Rekishi (ÆนÈจÆฐใใçคพäผšÆญดÅฒ). Published by Tokyo Shoseki (ÆฑäบฌÆธçฑ) on February 10, 1984. Approved on March 31, 1983.
- "In Chosen, Keijo (now Seoul), on March 1, 1919, Korean intellectuals proclaimed the Declaration of Independence from Japan. With this as a turning point, students started a movement chanting 'Independence mansei'. This movement aroused the sympathy of the Korean people who had been suffering under the Japanese colonial rule, and spread all over the country." (p. 259)
- "Entering 1932, Japan established Manchukuo with the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty as the head of the state, and separated it from China. However, the Japanese were at the helm in reality, and the state was economically dominated by Zaibatsu. China petitioned to the League of Nations for this Japanese invasion." (p. 275)
- "Through these incidents [May 15 Incident and February 26 Incident] the influence of the military on politics grew greater. Ideas that opposed militarism were harshly regulated, and various people such as liberals and the persons of religion were persecuted with Peace Preservation Law, etc.... 75,000 people were arrested by the end of the war (1945) for the violation of Peace Preservation Law, and quite a few of them were tortured." (pp. 275-276)
- "ใใใใฎäบä»ถใใธใฆใÈ»ÉจใฎÆ¿Æฒ»ใธใฎçบÈจใÅผทใพใฃใใ È»Åฝäธ»çพฉใ«ÅÅฏพใใÆÆณใฎใจใŠใใพใŠใใฏใใใใชใŠใÆฒ»ÅฎçถญÆÆณใชใฉใ«ใใฃใฆใÈชçฑäธ»çพฉÈ
- "The Japanese army occupied the Northern China, then invaded Nanjing, and killed and destroyed the lives of many Chinese people across. Footnote: The Japanese army that occupied Nanjing killed many Chinese people inside and outside the urban district within several weeks. The number of deaths was around 7-80,000 counting only civilians such as women and children. Including the deserted soldiers the number is estimated to be over 200,000. China estimates the number of the victims to be well over 300,000 including war deaths. Japan was condemned by other nations for this incident known as Nanjing Massacre; however, the Japanese people then were not notified of the fact." (p. 277)
- "ÆฅÆฌÈ»ใฏÈฏÅใÅ É ใใใใใ«ใŠใณใญใณ๏ผÅäบฌ๏ผใธäพตÆ»ใใฆใÅÅฐใงÅคšใใฎäธญÅฝÆฐÈ¡ใฎçÅฝใÅฅชใใใใฎçÆด»ใç ดÅฃŠใใฆÅคงใใชÆÅฎณใใใใใใÈšÆณจ๏ผšใŠใณใญใณใÅ É ใใÆฅÆฌÈ»ใฏใÆฐÉฑÉใฎใใใ ใ«ใÅธÈ¡ÅฐใฎÅ
- Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere:
- "In 1940, observing the defeat of France to Germany, Japan proclaimed the establishment of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japan made an entry into French Indochina and occupied the northern part. Footnote: It was to submit an idea that Asian nations should cooperate with one another and prosper together removing the American and European forces. However, in reality, it was only a pretext for Japan to dominate the rest of Asia." (p. 282)
ฑÆ ÅใใฎÅ»บÈจญใÅฑใใฆใใใฉใณในÉ ใคใณใใทใŠใ«ÉฒÉงใใÅÉจใÅ É ใใใÈšÆณจ๏ผšใขใธใขใใÆฌงçฑณÈ«ธÅฝใฎÅขÅŠใÉคใใใขใธใขÈ«ธÆฐÆใ ใใงÅÅŠใใฆÆ ใใฆใใใใจใใÈใใçคบใใฆใใใใใใใใใฃใใใ«ใฏใใขใธใขใÆฅÆฌใÆฏÉ
- Occupation of Southeast Asia:
- "In Southeast Asia that the Japanese military occupied, independent governments were established in Burma and the Philippines; however, the real power was held by the Japanese military. In the occupied territories, the life of the people were impoverished because the Japanese military forcibly collected from them rice and resources necessary to wage the war. In addition, the Japanese military killed more than 6,000 Chinese residents who were deemed rebellious in the occupied Singapore and Malaya, and oppressively ruled the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia by severely punishing the people who opposed the policy of the military. As the result of such an occupation policy, resistance movements against the Japanese rule spread throughout." (pp. 283-284)
- "ÆฅÆฌÈ»ใÅ É ใใÆฑÅใขใธใขใงใฏใใใ«ใžใใใฃใชใใณใ«çฌç«Æ¿ÅบใใคใใใใใใใใฎÅฎÆจฉใฏÆฅÆฌÈ»ใใ«ใŽใฃใฆใใใÅ É ÅฐÅใงใฏใÆฆäบใ«Å¿
ÈฆใชÈณÆบใçฑณใชใฉใÅผทÅถçšใ«ใจใŠใใฆใใใÆฐÈ¡ใฎçÆด»ใฏÈฆใใใชใฃใใใใฎใใใÆฅÆฌÈ»ใฏใÅ É ใใฆใใใทใณใฌใใผใ«ใงใÆฅÆฌÈ»ใ«ÆŠตÆŠใใใจใ¿ใชใใ6Åäบบä»ฅäธŠใใฎäธญÅฝçณ»äฝÆฐใฎçÅฝใÅฅชใฃใใฎใใฏใใใใใฃใชใใณใชใฉÅÅฐใงใÈ»ใฎÆนÉใ«Åใใäบบใ
ใใŠใใชใฃใใใใฎใใใชÅ É Æ¿çญใฎçตÆžใÆฅÆฌใฎÆฏÉ
- Predicament of Korean and Chinese people:
- "Many Korean and Chinese people were forced to move to Japan and worked a hard labor job in coal mines under horrible conditions. Footnote: In wartime years the government strengthened the policy to assimilate the Koreans to the Japanese, by forcing them to use Japanese language, worship Shinto shrine, and adopt Japanese names." (p. 284)
- "Finally, Japan accepted Potsdam Declaration and decided to surrender.... With this, China and the occupied Southeast Asian nations were freed from the invasion of the Japanese military. In Joseon, the 35 years of the Japanese colonial rule was brought down." (p. 290)
- "ÆฅÆฌใฏใคใใ«ใใใใใ ÅฎฃÈจใใใใใใÉäผใใใใจใÆฑบใใâฆใใใจใจใใ«ใäธญÅฝใÅ É ใใใÆฑÅใขใธใขใฏใÆฅÆฌÈ»ใฎäพตÆ»ใใÉÆพใใใใใพใใÆÉฎฎใงใฏใ35ÅนดÉใ«ใใใฃใÆฅÆฌใ«ใใÆคÆฐÅฐÆฏÉ
 High school history textbook, 1998
Nihonshi B (ÆฅÆฌÅฒB). Published by Tokyo Shoseki on February 10, 1999. Approved on March 31, 1998.
- "Footnote: Struggling an uphill battle against the Eighth Route Army of the Communist Party of China, the Japanese army started an all-out mopping-up campaign. Also Unit 731 of Kantogun dealt with germ weapons, and the Japanese army used poison gas." (p. 299)
- "Footnote: There were many Korean women who were brought to combat area as wartime comfort women. Recently the victims have been vocally protesting for official apology and individual reparations from the Japanese government." (p. 308)
- "Footnote: In this battle that involved civilians, the tragedy of mass suicide occurred and civilians were killed by the Japanese soldiers on suspicion of espionage in many places." (p. 309)
- "ÈšÆณจ๏ผšÆฐÉäบบใใพใใใใ ใใฎÆฆใใงใฏใÉÅฃÈชÆฑบใฎÆฒÅŠใใÆฐÉäบบใในใใคใฎÅ«çใชใฉใงÆฅÆฌÈ»Å
- "Footnote: In an accompanying agreement, it was decided that Japan shall offer economic aid over 8 hundred million dollars in total. Also it was confirmed that the problems concerning property and reparation claims of the two nations and of the peoples of the two nations had been settled completely and finally." (p. 333)
- "Footnote: Japan expressed that it was keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused, and regretted deeply for it.... Also in this communique China renounced its demand for war reparation from Japan." (p. 343)
- "ÈšÆณจ๏ผšÆฅÆฌใฏใÉŽÅŽ»ใฎÆฆäบใ«ใใÅŠ ÅฎณใฎÈฒฌä»»ใçÆใใÆทฑใÅçใใใจÈ¡จÆŽใใâฆใพใใใใฎÅฃฐÆŽใงäธญÅฝใฏใÅฏพÆฅÆฆäบÈณ ÅÈ«ÆฑÆจฉใฎÆพÆฃใÅฎฃÈจใใใ"
- War responsibility and reparations:
- "From around the 1990s after 50 years since the end of World War II, people in Asia started to demand apology and compensation for the damages that they received during the war such as compulsory recruitment from China and Joseon and wartime comfort women. These issues of war responsibility and post-war compensation also are big issues for Japan to settle. Footnote: As for state reparation it has already been completed with San Francisco Peace Treaty and bilateral agreements that were concluded with each nation individually." (p. 354)
ใ«ใŠใใฆใใใใใใใฎÆฆäบÈฒฌä»»ใÆฆÅพÈฃÅใฎÅÉ¡ใÈงฃÆฑบใใใใจใÅคงใใชÈชฒÉ¡ใงใใใÈšÆณจ๏ผšÅฝÅฎถÈณ Åใ«ใคใใฆใฏใใตใณใใฉใณใทในใณÅนณÅÆ¡çดใÅÅฝใจÅÅฅใ«çตใใ äบÅฝÉÅÅฎšใงÅฑฅÈ¡ใšใ¿ใงใใใ"
 Junior high school history textbook, 2005
New History Textbook 2005 version (ÆฐใใÆญดÅฒÆçงÆธ). Published by Fusosha, translated by Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.
- "In August 1937, two Japanese soldiers, one an officer, were shot to death in Shanghai (the hub of foreign interests). After this incident, the hostilities between Japan and China escalated. Japanese military officials thought Chiang Kai-shek would surrender if they captured Nanking, the Nationalist capital; they occupied that city in December. *But Chiang Kai-shek had moved his capital to the remote city of Chongqing. The conflict continued. Note *At this time, many Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded by Japanese troops (the Nanking Incident). Documentary evidence has raised doubts about the actual number of victims claimed by the incident. The debate continues even today" (p. 49).
- "On July 7, 1937, shots were fired at Japanese soldiers while they were engaged in maneuvers near Marco Polo Bridge (located outside Beijing). By the next day, this incident (the Marco Polo Bridge Incident) had escalated into hostilities with Chinese troops. The incident was of relatively small magnitude, and efforts were made to resolve it locally. But Japan decided to send a large number of troops to China when the Nationalist government issued an emergency mobilization order. These events marked the beginning of a war that lasted for eight long years" (p. 49).
- Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere:
- "The war inflicted a huge amount of devastation and suffering on the peoples of Asia, where it was fought. The casualties (both military and civilian) attributable to Japanese invasions were particularly high in China. Each time the Japanese occupied a Southeast Asian nation, they set up a military administration. Leaders of local independence movements cooperated with those military administrations so that they could liberate their countries from the yoke of the Western powers. But when the Japanese insisted that local populations learn the Japanese language and worship at Shinto shrines, they met with resistance. Anti-Japanese elements who aligned themselves with the Allies engaged in guerrilla warfare, which Japanese troops dealt with severely. Many people, civilians included, were killed during these confrontations. When the fortunes of war turned against Japan and food supplies ran short, the Japanese often forced the local population to do back-breaking work. After the war was over, Japan paid reparations to those nations. Then Japan was accused of promoting the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere philosophy to justify the war and occupation of Asia. Later, after Japan was defeated and Japanese troops had withdrawn from Asia, all these former colonies achieved independence through their own efforts during the next dozen years. Some Japanese soldiers remained in Asia and participated in the various struggles for independence. The initial goal of Japanâs southward advance was to obtain resources, but it also served to spur on nascent independence movements in Asia" (p. 54)
- Japanese Actions Inspire the Peoples of Asia :
- "Japanese soldiers drove out the forces of Western Europe, which had colonized the nations of Asia for many years. They surprised us, because we didnât think we could possibly beat the white man, and they inspired us with confidence. They awakened us from our long slumber, and convinced us to make the nation of our ancestors our own nation once again. We cheered the Japanese soldiers as they marched through the Malay Peninsula. When we saw the defeated British troops fleeing, we felt an excitement we had never experienced before. (Excerpt from the writings of Raja Dato Nong Chik, leader of the Malaysian independence movement and former member of the Malaysian House of Representatives)" (p. 54)
 Current Issues
Recently there has been controversy about the inclusion of the Liancourt Rocks (sovereignty over the islands is disputed between Japan and South Korea) as being part of Japan in Japanese teacher's guidebooks for social study classes for junior high school students.
 See also
- ^ http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-Selden/3173
- ^ a b c Kathleen Woods Masalski (November 2001). "EXAMINING THE JAPANESE HISTORY TEXTBOOK CONTROVERSIES". Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education. http://spice.stanford.edu/docs/134. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- ^ http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/stories/s841387.htm
- ^ Stephen Ambrose, To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian, 112.
- ^ Howard W. French (2004-12-06). "China's Textbooks Twist and Omit History". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/06/international/asia/06textbook.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- ^ Philip P. Pan (2006-01-25). "Leading Publication Shut Down In China: Party's Move Is Part Of Wider Crackdown". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/24/AR2006012401003.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- ^ "Teach History So It Does Not Repeat Itself". Chosun Ilbo. 2005-12-13. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. http://web.archive.org/web/20080119210244/http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200512/200512130027.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- ^ ÌคÌฐฝ๋ฏผâทÊฐ๋ณÍ (2006-01-15). "Ìด๋ฑ 4~6Í๋
ÊตÊณผÌ, ๋จÌผ๋ฏผÌ¡ฑâทÍÍต Ìง๋ÌนÊฒ ÊฐÌ¡ฐ" (in Korean). ÊฒฝÍฅÌ ๋ฌธ. http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=200708212359521&code=940401. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- ^ Êฐ ๋ณÍ (2007-08-21). "Ìด๋ฑÊตÊณผÌ, Êณ ๋ ค๋ â23๋ง ÊทÍâ ÌธÊธ๋ ÌÍด" (in Korean). ÊฒฝÍฅÌ ๋ฌธ. http://news.empas.com/show.tsp/cp_kh/20070821n11817/?kw=%C0%CF%BA%BB%20%3Cb%3E%26%3C%2Fb%3E. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- ^ "ใÆçงÆธใใÉÅฝใฎÆญดÅฒÆçงÆธใฏäธçÅฒçšÈงฃÉใÆฌ ÅฆใÉÅฝÆญดÅฒÅญฆใฎÉÉŽฎใ»ÅดÆÈ¡¡ÆÆŽใ«Èžใ(äธŠ)" (in Japanese). Chosun Ilbo. 2006-01-15. http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20060115000017. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- ^ Kasahara, Tokushi. "Reconciling Narratives of the Nanjing Massacre in Japanese and Chinese Textbooks". Tsuru Bunka University. http://www.usip.org/events/2007/kasahara.pdf.
- ^ Joseph Chapel, "Denial of the Holocaust and the Rape of Nanking" (2004)
- ^ "Obituary: Saburo Ienaga: One man's campaign against Japanese censorship" Jonathan Watts. The Guardian. London (UK): Dec 3, 2002. p. 22
- ^ "Persistence of memory: Saburo Ienaga insists Japan remember an unsavoury war to ensure dreams of peace" John Price. The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, B.C.: Mar 7, 2001. p. A.13
- ^ Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa on History Textbooks
- ^ CRI Online, April 2001
- ^ Sven Saaler: Politics, Memory and Public Opinion: The History Textbook Controversy and Japanese Society. Munich: 2005
- ^ Sex slave history erased from texts
- ^ Comfort women distortion stirs indignation
- ^ "Japan orders history books to change passages on forced World War II suicides". SignOnSanDiego.com. 2007-03-30. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070330-0757-japan-forcedsuicides.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- ^ "Okinawa slams history text rewrite". The Japan Times. 2007-06-23. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070623a1.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- ^ "Huge Japan protest over textbook". BBC News. 2007-09-29. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7020335.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
 Further reading
- Ijiri, Hidenori (1996), âSino-Japanese Controversy since the 1972 Diplomatic Normalization,â in China and Japan: History, Trends, Prospects, ed. Christopher Howe (Oxford: Clarendon), 60-82.
- Lind, Jennifer (2008) Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).
- Rose, Caroline (1998) Interpreting History in Sino-Japanese Relations: a Case Study in Political Decision-making (London: Routledge).
- Whiting, Allen S. (1989) China Eyes Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press).
 External links
- Formal Education - Elementary and Secondary Education (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology website)
- JE KALEIDOSCOPE (English translations of Japan's middle school history textbooks today)
- "Textbook Authorization System in Japan" by Miki Y. Ishikida
- New History TextbookPDF (457 KB) - English translation of the controversial New History Textbook.
- Japan textbook angers Chinese, Korean press - BBC coverage of the story.
- Japan-Korea collaborative history research committee (ÆฅÉÆญดÅฒÅ
ฑÅç çฉถÅงÅ¡äผš, Japanese & KoreanPDF (5.82 MB))
- List of authorized textbook by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (ÆÉจçงÅญฆç)(Japanese)
- Divided memories and reconciliation:a progress reportPDF (436 KB)
- "School history on the global stage, What's taught in the classroom can sometimes have international ramifications" The London School of Economics and Political Science, February 2010
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