A quick look at my last posts made me realize I forgot why I was posting: to show excerpts from the new textbooks!
It’s important to remember that the vast majority of the protesters in China and Korea have not read them for themselves. The Tsukurukai realizes this and plans to post free Chinese and Korean translations online in the near future.
Recent arguments I’ve seen characterize these textbooks as “not glorifying war but merely deviating from leftist doctrine that Japan invaded other nations just for the sake of invading.” However, these aren’t scholarly texts, they’re meant to be read by 14-year-olds who have to be told what to think. The fact that Tsukurukai has made texts for such an impressionable audience guarantees controversy and makes it difficult to deny that they are tools of persuasion. And picking battles such as the Nanjing massacre, comfort women, et cetera is like kicking someone when they’re down and belies the more extremist beliefs of the authors.
Anyway, trying to analyze all this is making my head spin. Let’s take a look at some excerpts. I got these from the online newsletter of The Marxist Faction of the Revolutionary Communist Union of Japan (so take it with a grain of salt!):
These “history” textbooks erase both the comfort women and the forced march of Koreans from history, and treats the Nanjing Massacre, the gravest sin of the “imperial army”, as if it substantively didn’t happen with such lines as “There were several killed and wounded among the Chinese army and civilians,” “There is disagreement on the actual number killed” et cetera. Throughout it regards The Japanese Empire’s invasion of Asia as the “Emancipation of Asia”, and makes claims that “Japan’s actions bolstered the people’s of Asia” to “quicken the pace of independence movements” in Asian countries. This text seems to know no bounds for scandal. What’s more, in the “Civics” textbook, the “Constitutional Reform” section romanticizes the Constitution of the Japanese Empire (the Meiji Constitution), comparing it favorably to the “imposition of the GHQ” as our current constitution is characterized. It goes on to rationalize worsening the constitution, emphasizing the rationalization of “the right to self defense” and “the duty of national security”.
↑Seems to repeat the same problems from 2001.
Ministry of Education Instructs revision to say “Takeshima (Dokdo) is illegally occupied by Korea”
They didn’t stop there. The Ministry of Education instructed the textbook publishers to revise the caption “Takeshima, the island over which We are in territorial confrontation with South Korea” under a picture of Takeshima/Dokdo, explaining that “there is a fear that there would be misunderstanding over territorial rights”. As a result, the publishers revised it to say, “This is Japan’s exclusive territory, but South Korea is illegally occupying it.”
That’s all for now. Coming up: choice quotes from Japanese editorials on the subject and the right wing’s reaction. Also I might take a look at Wiki Japan, not sure. Stay tuned!