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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 4 - 10  > Okinawans rally against history textbook screening
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2007 April 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Okinawans rally against history textbook screening

April 7, 2007
About 200 Okinawans on April 6 took part in a rally held in Naha City against the government order to remove from history textbooks an account that the Japanese military had forced residents to commit mass suicide during the Battle of Okinawa.

The rally was sponsored by an Okinawan group calling for the prevention of distortion of the history of the Battle of Okinawa and for the promotion of peace education.

Takashima Nobuyoshi, a group co-representative and professor of the University of the Ryukyus, pointed out that the latest textbook screening goes with the moves attempting to distort wartime history by rightist scholars’ campaigns and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s remarks on his historical views.

As one of the reasons for its new policy in its history textbook screening, the Education Ministry cited a lawsuit filed by a former Japanese military officer who denies such a military order.

Takashima said that the Education Ministry has violated its own screening standards by ordering the removal of accounts based on the plaintiff’s claim.

He called on the participants to urge the government to revoke the policy and make efforts to talk about this issue with students in classes.

An 85-year-old woman testified that residents in Okinawa’s Tokashiki Island had been in fact ordered by the Japanese Imperial Army to commit mass suicide.

The rally adopted an appeal that includes a proposal to conduct a signature collection campaign calling on the Education Ministry to revoke its decision.
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