History of liesThe long-lasting battle concerning the distortion of textbooks might be coming to an end as the Japanese government indicated that it might give in to a fierce demonstration staged by the Okinawan people.
The controversy began when the Japanese Ministry of Education ordered the removal of textbook references to the Japanese army’s role in the death of innocent people in Okinawa during World War II. The doctored textbook was to be published starting next year.
Japan’s intention to whitewash an undeniable historical fact ignited anger among the Okinawan people, exacerbating the current situation. More than 110,000 people participated in the rally on Aug. 28.
Until now, Japan has taken a step back whenever the truth was disclosed or an aggressive demonstration has been staged by the public concerning war crimes in the past.
The same can be said for recent egregious distortions of history.
When the public stepped forward and the opposition party made moves to prepare a resolution requesting the rectification of distorted histories, the Japanese government reluctantly said that it will consider the request once the textbook publishers ask for the changes to be made. In other words, unable to control the protests, it gave in.
In 1982, it expunged textbook sections referring to Japanese soldiers murdering Okinawans, but had to restore the text when it couldn’t withstand the protests.
It is hard to understand why Japan so often digs its own grave and defames its international image.
Okinawans are not the only victims of Japan’s distortions of history. Out of 16 textbooks that dealt with the military’s behavior in World War II, only one has admitted the military’s role in sexually enslaving Korean women.
The remaining 15 textbooks, however, ambiguously stated that the women were forced into sexual servitude for unreasonable conduct. Being unwilling to apologize for past misconduct and only responding when the public stages a rally is unacceptable.
Who would have thought that the prime minister would actually lament about the controversial issue to the U.S. president? No matter how shameful the events, they happened and cannot be changed.
History is history.
Why can’t Japan accept the past and apologize? It’s a pity that Japan cannot tell the truth to the descendants of its own history.