Ministry does about-face on textbooks regarding Okinawa

The Yomiuri reported:

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry approved Wednesday the reintroduction of wording in high school history textbooks referring to the role played by the Japanese military in the 1945 mass suicides in the Battle of Okinawa after the books' publishers filed correction applications.

The approval of corrections to textbooks that had already been approved is unprecedented.

While the Textbook Authorization Council, an advisory panel to the education, science and technology minister, recommended the corrections be approved, it also came to the conclusion that there were no direct orders from the military to carry out the mass suicides, and it therefore refused to allow the reinsertion of wording such as "coercion by the military" that the council had objected to before the books were authorized. This marked the first time the council expressed this view of what it believes happened.

According to this opinion, "From the viewpoint of residents, they were driven to commit suicide due to various circumstances and factors," adding that involvement of the Japanese military was a major factor in the mass suicides.

However, on the point of whether direct orders were issued by the military to commit suicide en masse, the council concluded that "it cannot be confirmed at this point."

This basic view was conveyed to the six textbook publishers. As a result, the publishers revised the phrasing they used in their correction applications.
To sum up, it's historian's consensus that there is no Army's order for suicide. The demonstration organized by Okinawa's left party was in vain.


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