2001.04.06 21:56 2001.04.06 21:56 | Green Society

A letter from Japan Peace Committee

We are opposing to the governmental approval of a draft textbook glorifying Japan's war of Aggression.


Dear friends,

Please find attached the statement of Japan Peace Committee against the recent move by right-wing group to have Japanese government to approve a junior high school history text book which, distorting the history, to glorify a war of aggression to Asian countries including China and Korea by Japanese militarism during WWⅡ.

Statement from Japan Peace Committee:

Forgery of the history never permitted.
We are opposed to the governmental approval of a draft textbook glorifying Japan's war of Aggression.

The Minister of Education and Science of Japan may approve a junior high school history textbook glorifying Japanese militarism's war of aggression in Asia, (edited by the Association for Creating a New History Textbook) by the end of March. Japan Peace Committee /JPC/ is firmly opposed to the governmental approval of this draft textbook, in order to defend the truth of history, peace, and democracy, as well as to promote friendship and solidarity among Asian peoples.

An original draft textbook edited by the "Association" was to justify the annexation of Korea into Japan in 1910 by saying it was "regal", and to glorify Japan's aggression on South East Asia saying it was for "self-defense" and for the "liberation of Asia". This naked expression praising a war of aggression provoked broad criticism both in Japan and in Asian countries. Under this pressure, Japanese Government/Minister of Education and Science was forced to issue exceptionably many amendments and remarks (coming up to 137) on this draft textbook. However, even after this modification, the nature of this textbook glorifying a war of aggression is unchanged. The following expressions still remain "there were some who accepted the annexation (of Korea to Japan) in Korea, "Advancement of Japanese military into South (Asia) provided an "opportunity for Asian countries to be independent": furthermore, "there are many questions" on the massacre in Nankin by Japanese military.

It is the truth of history that a war of Japanese militarism was an aggression and pillage by force. It would sow the seeds of trouble of peace in Japan and in Asia to distort this truth in education.

Therefore in our country, a number of people, not only us but also scholar and educators, are raising their strong voice against the governmental approval of this draft textbook. It is natural of Asian peoples including Korea and China suffering Japanese invasion to criticize this move. In solidarity with these Asian people, we are promoting public opinions against the passing of this daft text.

For over a half century since its foundation, Japan Peace Committee has demanded Japanese government of its sincere reflection and apology for the invasion and colonial domination by Japanese militarism. It is also our important task to defend peaceful provisions of the Japanese Constitution, which abandons war and prohibits the possession of military force as reflection of Japan's war of aggression. We are doing our best to develop public opinion and movement against any moves to glorify Japan's war of aggression, and for the true peace and friendship of Asian peoples.

Hiroshi Suda
General Secretary

Japan Peace Committee
6 March 2000

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