More than 100,000 people in Japan have rallied against changes to school books detailing Japanese military involvement in mass suicides during World War II.The protest, in Okinawa, was against moves to modify and tone down passages that say the army ordered Okinawans to kill themselves rather than surrender.
Okinawa’s governor told crowds they could not ignore army involvement.
Some conservatives in Japan have in recent years questioned accounts of the country’s brutal wartime past.
Saturday’s rally was the biggest staged on the southern island since it was returned to Japan by the United States in 1972, according to the Kyodo News agency.
When US soldiers invaded Okinawa at the end of World War II, more than 200,000 people died.
Hundreds of them were Japanese civilians who killed themselves.
The textbooks, intended for use in high schools next year, currently say that as the Americans prepared to invade, the Japanese army handed out grenades to Okinawa residents and ordered them to kill themselves.
Many survivors insist the military told people to commit suicide, partly due to fears over what they might tell the invaders and because being taken prisoner was considered shameful.
The governor of Okinawa, Hirokazu Nakaima, told crowds the episode should not be forgotten.
“We cannot bury the fact that the Japanese military was involved in the mass suicide, taking into account of the general background and testimonies that hand grenades were delivered,” he said.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency said Saturday’s rally was the biggest staged on the southern island since it was returned to Japan by the United States in 1972.
This is what happens when much of the world approves of Japan’s revision of their accounts of world history with their East Asian neighbours. Like the Okinawans, many Chinese and Koreans protested the Japanese government’s decision to approve revised textbooks that justified Japan’s aggressive war during the Second World War. Although many Japanophiles tried to justify the governments official approval by pointing out that only a faction of high schools were sane enough to adopt these revisionist works, the fact that it was approved by the government without any opposing views and merely dismissing Chinese and Korean concerns as racism only encouraged these revisionists to “fix” their national history.
The fact that these same revisionists, emboldened by support for revised accounts of East Asian history, now begin to justify atrocities committed to their own taxpayers in Okinawa is just appalling. Some Japanese are actually stupid enough to justify this by saying these revisions, which are largely wholesale denials, are needed to help restore the national pride lost due to Imperial Japan’s loss during World War 2 and due to their war crimes against the region and their own citizens.
I would like to point to these people that Germany does not have any need to revise or even deny their past transgressions to restore their sense of pride. The Germans eventually restored their pride by first coming to terms with what the Nazis did, making amends with those who were wronged and then concentrating on their strengths to show a new Germany to the world.
It seems elements of the Japanese power structure along with their useful idiots, the Japanophiles, were able to concentrate their country’s national strengths to officially present a “new” Japan to the world in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Yet, they still have yet to properly come to terms with what their Imperial government did and have trouble making clear amends with those they have wronged.
The Japanophiles and right-wing Japanese were able to convince the world that Chinese and Korean protests against revisionist works were racially motivated and downplay the significance of their revisionist views promoted to new generations of Japanese. Now I wonder how in the hell these same idiots will try to downplay and justify these revisonist lies being committed against their own taxpaying citizens. Surely, these people would surely be considered racists for having double-standards if these people decry the revisionist views taken against the Okinawans yet accept the revisionist views promoted in regards to their role in China and Korea during the World War 2.
Oh wait, some Japanophiles do justify the Japanese government’s revisions by claiming Western coverage of this incident from the start is wrong because they are from a non-Japanese view and therefore they are automatically ignorant of all things Japanese. Then there are those who will try to use local officials with opposing views to justify the revisions…what a bunch of tools. However, many will simply avoid the current issues and willingly remain ignorant (yet automatically side with the Japanese government) to continue their unrealistic internalisations of Japan, which will largely consist of Shinto shrine visits, anime, Japanese cuisine, Japanese pop culture, and even romanticised feudal history.