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Commentary: Twisting textbooks doesn't make Japan strong

English.news.cn   2014-01-14 15:51:45

by Huang Yinjiazi

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- With international anger continuing over Japan's recent provocations, Tokyo is reportedly planning a fresh outrage that may further jeopardize its relations with neighbors and heighten tension in the region.

The Japanese cabinet, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the helm, is reportedly considering revising guidelines for school textbooks to describe two groups of islands, the Diaoyu Islands -- an integral part of Chinese territories, and the disputed islands known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, as the "indigenous territory" of Japan.

The move, coupled with Abe's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war criminals, among other provocations, is probably part of Tokyo's struggle to restore the image of a strong Japan. However, they are doomed to be counterproductive.

No matter what Japan writes in its history textbooks, it can never deny the incontrovertible fact -- the Diaoyu Islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times.

Thus, the reported plan to change teaching manuals is nothing but a provocative act, which will deal a blow to Japan's already strained relations with neighbors.

The series of moves also escalates tension in Northeast Asia, since no government can turn a blind eye to such provocations. The situation strengthens no one, including Japan, which has been mired in economic stagnation for a long time.

Meanwhile, they damage Tokyo's image and dent its credibility -- the self-proclaimed "proactive contributor to peace" ends up being the regional troublemaker.

What's more worrying, this twisted history, if recorded in textbooks for secondary schools, will influence the minds of Japan's youth, who will run the country in the future, and thus dim the hope that Japan will one day acknowledge history and mend its relations with neighbors, whose people suffered under Japanese aggression during World War II.

If Abe wants to make Japan strong, he must understand that a strong man should be brave enough to face history, repent past atrocities and rectify mistakes.

On the contrary, Japan's actions are equal to an attempt to deny the outcome of the world anti-fascist war, and to deny and challenge the post-war international order, as well as the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

In addition, a strong man takes responsibility. For Japan at present, the responsible things to do are to relinquish its dream to rebuild a militaristic country, sincerely reflect on history and correctly teach the coming generations, in order to safeguard regional peace and prosperity.

Related:

Japan in sharp contrast to Germany: Chinese FM

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China said on Friday that the way Japan views its aggression history was in sharp contrast to that of Germany, leading to concerns of where it is heading.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily press briefing in response to a report that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called on China and Japan to learn from the French-German relationship and solve issues and respect each other. Full story

Japan education ministry eyes revising school textbooks' historical, geographical content

TOKYO, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hakubun Shimomura, on Friday said the education ministry plans to revise and implement new screening guidelines for textbooks to be used in history and geography classes in elementary and high schools nationwide.  Full story

Commentary: Abe disgraces Japan where Brandt honors Germany

BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- New Year's Day is usually a moment of joy and celebration, of pause and meditation, and of reflection and introspection.

That is why it is particularly disconcerting that as the world advances into another year, Shinzo Abe is leading Japan to retreat further away from the right track of history.  Full story

Editor: Lu Hui
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