China has reiterated its displeasure at Japan’s posturing over the contested Diaoyu Islands, this time taking offense at Japanese high-school textbooks which claim them as Japanese territory.
According to Xinhua, a Chinese Foreign Ministry representative took aim at the amendments to 18 textbooks on history, civics and geography which will make their way into Japanese high-school classrooms next year.
Having already been enraged by Japan indoctrinating primary-school students on this issue last year, China is again urging its favourite neighbour to educate its younger generation correctly—simply stating ‘facts are facts’.
And as if claiming sovereignty over a pile of rocks wasn’t bad enough, China has condemned the new textbook’s interpretations of Japanese atrocities in World War II. The Chinese spokesperson accused Japan of distorting reality by mitigating its culpability in the Nanjing massacre: substituting ‘captives and civilians were involved’ for the original words which said that the Japanese Army ‘killed many captives and civilians’. The phrase ‘Japan’s atrocity was condemned’ also mysteriously disappeared from the new textbooks.
If China has taken legitimate grievance with the doctoring of some school textbooks, we wonder how the Japanese may have felt about Chinese celebrating Yuanxiao festival by attacking ‘Japanese Devils’.
By Liam Bourke