16/06/2001
 

IFJ Congress 2001: 32. Revision by Japan of History textbooks

32. Revision by Japan of History textbooks

Proposed: Korean Affiliates of the IFJ, KJA and KFPU

 

The 24th IFJ Congress, meeting in Seoul on June 11th to June 15th, 200, notes that

 

Journalists and intellectual of both Korea and Japan cannot help expressing profound concerns about the recent decision of the Japanese Ministry of Education to approve the publication of junior high school history textbooks that whitewash historical facts regarding Japan’s invasion of East Asian countries during World War II.

 

The history textbooks compiled under the direction of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, a far right organisation, contain things that unquestionably distort history. There is no doubt that the recent authorised Japanese history textbooks will become a barrier to strengthening unity among East Asian countries.

 

With regard to this incident on June 1, 2001 the Korea National Union of Media Workers (NUMW) and the Japan Congress of Mass Media, Information and Culture Workers (MIC) jointly held a protest rally in front of the building of the Japanese Ministry and also delivered a letter of protest.

 

The controversial textbooks have aroused grave concerns among conscientious intellectuals in Korea, China, Japan and other East Asian countries, as the distorting history texts books glorify Japanese wars of aggression and justify Japan’s violations of human rights. If such misleading textbooks are used to teach Japanese youth, it would be a step backward from principles of humanity and peace, and will result in the rise of parochial nationalism in young minds, thereby seriously threatening efforts by the global community’s to ensure world peace.

 

Together with the NUMW and the MIC, the Journalists Association of Korea, as the representative of the peoples of East Asia, intend to deter Japan’s history distortion.

 

On the occasion of the IFJ Congress, we submit the following resolution to rectify Japan’s history textbook situation with the support from journalists of all around the world. The contents of the following resolution are based on the statement entitled “Towards Forming a Common Understanding of History”, which was announced by the NUMW and the MIC in early June.

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