Japans Textbooks Reflect Revised History
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: April 4th, 2007
In another sign that Japan is pressing ahead in revising its history of World War II, new high school textbooks will no longer acknowledge that the Imperial Army was responsible for a major atrocity in Okinawa, the government announced late Friday. The Ministry of Education ordered publishers to delete passages stating that the Imperial Army ordered civilians to commit mass suicide during the Battle of Okinawa, as the island was about to fall to American troops in the final months of the war. The decision was announced as part of the ministrys annual screening of textbooks used in all public schools. The ministry also ordered changes to other delicate issues to dovetail with government assertions, though the screening is supposed to be free of political interference. The decision on the Battle of Okinawa ... came as a surprise because the ministry had never objected to the description in the past. The fresh denial of the militarys responsibility in the Battle of Okinawa and in sexual slavery long accepted as historical facts is likely to deepen suspicions in Asia that Tokyo is trying to whitewash its militarist past even as it tries to raise the profile of its current forces. The ministrys new position appeared to discount overwhelming evidence of coercion, particularly the testimony of victims and survivors themselves.
Note: History many times is written -- or in this case re-written -- by those in power.