[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April 2005, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
China Japan tension: Your views
Protesters raise placards that read "Overthrow Japan's militarism" during a protest outside Japan's consulate in Hong Kong
This is the third page of your comments about the tension between China and Japan.

This is the third page of your comments:

The relationship between Japan and Asian countries will never be brought up to a positive and sound level if Japan doesn't confess to their wartime atrocities. Japan have won over many African countries by providing economic support, but they have to be clear that being a UNSC member is not a money deal.
O Zhou, Bristol, UK

The Japanese officials never stop visiting the Yasukuni Shrine even they have apologised 17 times. Who is the hypocrite here?
Craig, Hong Kong

It's probably a lot more comfortable for the Chinese government to allow protest against outside forces rather than its domestic policies
Chris, Tokyo, Japan
My guess is that there is a lot of dissatisfaction and potential unrest in China. 60 percent of the country in rural areas earns less than a dollar a day. It's probably a lot more comfortable for the Chinese government to allow protest against outside forces rather than its domestic policies. I think China is playing the political field for what it is: its victim card in the face of 80-year-old atrocities and its appetizing emerging market are potent here and now. What China wants strategically is anyone's guess. But I think yesterday's announcement, saying that it will not apologize for the near riots, is troubling.
Chris, Tokyo, Japan

While Japan should apologize (and it hasn't formally, yet) for wartime atrocities against China, Mr. Wen's comments come off as hypocritical and politically motivated. Ultimately, criticizing from afar will only make it more difficult for Japan to apologize out of goodwill and give the victims of the occupation a sense of closure. China is once again sacrificing the well-being of its own people who truly suffered from Japanese occupation for political posturing.
Paul, Los Angeles, USA

It is unfortunate that I can see comments by people from Japan but not comments by people from China. I am concerned about this situation.
Nan Zhang, New Jersey, USA

To Kevin, USA. Funny, it's not because the Chinese government doesn't like the Japanese textbook The Asian people found that the new text book has total whitewash to what the Japanese did during the WW2. You must know, amongst these people there is not just Chinese, also Korean, Malaysian and so on. What you are suggesting is similar to saying the German government can deny any insult to Jewish person during WW2. I suggest you see everything with your sunglasses on.
Frank, UK

Japan as a society has held onto the 19th Century Darwinian view of races, i.e. Japanese being second to the white Europeans and high above its Asian neighbours. This particular world view explains the horrendous atrocities committed by Japan against its neighbours. Japan needs look deep into its own psyche before there is any chance for peace in East Asia.
William Huo, New York

It does not matter how much time passes. No one can ever forgive what the Japanese did: 340,000 massacre in our capital(Naming at the time) and not even giving an official apology during 60 years time? And it's not only about the textbook. And for Western friends, you should understand that "dignity" or "face" is taking too much position in Eastern culture, we just want an apology.
G Han, China

Up to this moment, I have wondered exactly what is so difficult about coming to terms with the past. All the Japanese newspapers I have read have been critical of China and not even discussed their past. Now a lot of people have made the point that China has plenty of skeletons in it's closet - that it's in no position to demand anything from Japan based on its horrific human rights record with respect to Tiananmen Square, Tibet, brutal repression of the Falun Gong and religious persecution of Christians and other minorities to name a few. This is all true. But I don't understand what is holding Japan back with coming to terms with it's past in a way that would set an example for the Chinese. Imagine if a sincere apology was given, and a request made for others, notably the Chinese government to come clean and be just as forthcoming about their own abuses?
David Savino, Aomori, Japan

In the past 150 years, Japanese have grabbed too many things from China. Now, please stop.
Chou Chou, Montreal, Canada

First, let me ask V.K. Roy from Tokyo one question, do British people know anything about riots in Hong Kong in '60s? And how did British government handle that? Second, yes history is unchangeable. The Japanese textbook reiterates the history based on their denial but not the facts, is this denial? Just imagining Germany denying their systematic killing of Jewish people, what would British government do? If prince Harry dressed in Nazi clothes was inappropriate act, what would you call the denial of Nanjing massacre? Talking about Tibet, Roy, you probably need to study history book all over the world, but not the one from British version!
Ting Yu, New York, US

How many people who stand by Chinese government have read the Japanese text book?
Mitsu, Tokyo
How many people who stand by Chinese government have read the Japanese text book? I have learned about not only Nanjing massacre, but also Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tiananmen massacre and Sino-Vietnam war and so on. Is there any Chinese history textbook described about more than 250000 dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Mitsu, Tokyo

The entire situation is mired in hypocrisy. The Japanese attempt to gain a Security Council seat is laughable considering its prime minister visits a shrine that honours past war criminals and rapists of the highest revulsion. The Chinese government's politically motivated version of history whitewashes its own blood-soaked past. The west's, perhaps the biggest hypocrites in all of this, are responsible for the imperialism that fragmented China and the arming of Japanese militarism. What part of the UK curriculum taught us of our own shameful past? History will always reveal hypocrisy in us all. Everyone needs to get off their moral high horses and face up to our own past, only then can we start to move forward together.
Mike, UK

China was donated its seat on the permanent U.N. Security Council when it deserved it the least. Japan is being considered for such a seat only after it has proven it deserves it. Let the country with accurate classroom history books make demands of the country with the least accurate. And let me know when China learns what "accurate" means.
EMW, Ann Arbor, USA

Japan has never faced its past as the Germans did. If Japan wants to continue being a global player then it must be able to accept responsibility about its past and formally apologise as a minimum.
Steve Mali, Phila, USA

We are constantly reminded about the sufferings of the Jews and the Holocaust in WWII. But the western world doesn't seem to care about the war crimes committed by Japan in Asia at that time. There is no museum and no international films about the massacre in Nanjing or all the Asian women abducted by the Japanese. All these protests didn't just happen out of the blue. If the western media would do some research, they'll find that there have been protests in Asia about Japan's attitude toward their war crimes over the years. What would Israel do if the German government did the same in their textbooks? What would the Jews do if the German government officials paid tribute to the Nazis every year?
Vicki, Washington DC, USA

Do the Chinese people know how much ordinary Japanese people deeply have felt remorse about what Japanese did during World War Two to the people in Asian countries? We want to apologise to all of you who were suffering. We know our terrible history that Japan went wrong and we certainly don't want repeat that again. We must not forget it. I'm ashamed of my country because of that. It makes me so sad.
K.K, Sheffield, UK

China invaded, ruled, killed thousands innocent Vietnamese people for more than 1000 years. But until now is there any formal apologies for it to Vietnamese people?
Sontaro, Tokyo

The Japanese have never atoned for their past atrocities
Jason Chang, Miami, USA
I have family who died at the hands of the Japanese. The Japanese have never atoned for their past atrocities. No forgiveness until the Japanese admit what was done and apologise.
Jason Chang, Miami, USA

Japanese shouldn't whitewash their wartime atrocities. This is the only way to prevent this tragedy from happening again. Can you imagine the German prime minister publicly and regularly show respect to Hitler? I guess you cannot. But that's what the Japanese prime minister has been and will be doing.
Samuel, Toronto, Canada

This vast protest in China was right after the protest in South Korea! What does this mean? This only means Japan has not ever made a satisfactory apology for their behaviour in the past! But if Japan and Japanese people want to end up with relations with either China or Korea just do it, people in China and Korea wont care because we no longer rely on Japan anymore. We would rather boost our relationship with the moral Western countries, such as Germany. That is the country we respect!
Mike, Hong Kong, PR China

I don't get it. I keep wondering what would happen if Germans decided to say Hitler is the greatest hero in their history? Would all the westerners on this board say, let's forget it about it, that's 70 years ago?
Yun, USA

Clearly, the China-Japan tension is not entirely about the specific dictions text books, but also about the mask of freedom that communist China is trying to fabricate for the international community. History is for us to remember and not for us to repeat.
Eric, Saanich, Canada

The irony is had the BBC News website not been blocked by the Chinese government, then the range of views would be very different.
Mik, Bristol, UK

I'm deeply disgusted by some comments. Japan has committed atrocities against Chinese people and others in World War Two. Full stop. No excuse.
R Feng, Australia

A country that cannot win trust from its neighbours is not qualified for getting into UN.
David Yuan, California, USA

Japan's textbook change to gloss over the wartime atrocities is an open provocation to the leniency and tolerance of Chinese people.
Shaofeng Xi, LA, USA

The problem with the Japanese is that their country suddenly became victims of their own war when the US dropped the nuclear bombs. Instead of punishing the former Emperor - who is widely considered a war criminal like Hitler in other Asian nations - the US was obligated to revive their economy and feel guilty about the victims of the bombing. That's why many right wing extremist politicians in Japan still have a very wrong idea about the war crimes they committed. They must learn from Germany. Young Germans still carry the burden of their past.
Jinsoo Han, Busan, South Korea

For people who may not quite understand Asians' anger at Japan, imagine if the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited a shrine every year that paid tribute to both Hitler and Goebbels. Would that be pleasant? This is precisely what Koizumi is doing every time he visits the Yasukuni shrine.
Terry Song, Seattle, USA

Chinese textbooks don't talk about Tiananmen Square, but everyone knows what happened
Vicky, Guangzhou, China
How would you feel if Germany took Hitler as a hero? Chinese textbooks don't talk about Tiananmen Square, but everyone knows what happened. We have all watched the whole procedure filmed by someone at that time. But my Japanese roommate has told me that Japanese young people cannot find any details about what their country did to China.
Vicky, Guangzhou, China

The Japanese are always distorting what they did in WWII. They massacred millions of Chinese, their crimes can't be forgiven, ever.
Wanli Lei, PR China

If you have never been to China, don't say China disregards human rights. Don't say Chinese people can't get information. Your mother didn't allow you to watch porn when you were a child. However, you could still watch it without telling your mother. You really think Chinese people can't get the information that the government doesn't want them to get? Don't be silly!
Ella, Sheffield

It is always easy to comment as a bystander, what if you are one of the victims? We are looking for justification, rather than a meaningless apology. One of the gifts that the Lord gives to us is being able to remember the past. It is forgivable what the Japanese have already done, but it will never be possible for us to forgive them by ignoring the facts and leaving everything behind.
Cherry, Beijing, PR China

I am Chinese, I hate Japanese people indeed. Not because they killed 20 million Chinese people in WWII. I hate them because the Japanese government never faced what they did during the war. They never made a formal apology to the Chinese people!! I love my government and my nation.
Bei, China

I'm sure the Chinese government is trying to distract our attention from the Dalai Lama's action
Bob, Nagoya
The Dalai Lama is staying in Japan now. Every time he visits here the Chinese government finds fault with Japan. I'm sure the Chinese government is trying to distract our attention from the Dalai Lama's action. China is as cunning as a fox.
Bob, Nagoya

I am from Beijing, China, and I believe the Japanese government is more responsible than China's, so I support Japan entering the UN Security Council.
Yuanren, Beijing, PR China

We have learnt much more about the tragedy from teachers and the media than China thinks. I would like to emphasise the fact that most Japanese people are full of remorse.
Takashi Ito, Tokyo, Japan

I travel to Japan and China very frequently. The typical Japanese person is well aware of the atrocities their army inflicted in Asia during WWII and they are well aware of the massive losses and suffering they endured as a result. But the Chinese population is unaware of the atrocities its government has inflicted in the past century. While a claim can be made that the Japanese government could be a bit more honest about their past history, it is the current regime in China that should be feared the most.
Mike, Everett, WA USA

Because Japanese culture is the way it is, an outward expression of remorse is probably unlikely
Jim, UK (Ex Wakayama, Japan)
I taught in a Japanese High Schools for three years, so feel somewhat qualified to comment. Many Japanese do have a good understanding of the past, and truly feel for the victims of WWII. However because Japanese culture is the way it is, an outward expression of remorse is probably unlikely.
Jim, UK (Ex Wakayama, Japan)

When I asked my Japanese classmate what the Japanese had done to China in WWII, he just said 'something bad' and he did not know more about it - he is a masters student!
Jane Ma, London

Historically, China was invaded by most major Western nations when she was weak. China has forgiven all of them including Japan. Japan never appreciated what China did to develop a new relationship with Japan. What China wants is an "apology" rather than "regret". A permanent UN Security Council seat is not for a country like Japan.
Chao Qin, LA, USA

How dare the Chinese continually reproach the Japanese for the content of their textbooks when the books of the People's Republic of China are nothing but historically inaccurate propaganda with racially motivated undertones. Japan's textbooks are the most accurate in Asia, more so than in Korea and China. Japan has done so much over the years in terms of aid and more to satisfy and befriend the PRC but gets nothing but animosity and hate in return.
Brian, Seattle, USA

China has her own problem as any other country does. But that doesn't mean that Japan can glorify its crimes. I love my country! I will stand with her!
Deng Xiaojiao, China

I am outraged by Japan's glossing over the atrocities they committed during WWII. They have no idea how painful it is. I am also disgusted by the claims that China 'occupied' Tibet. Tibet has been part of China for a thousand years. The young people of Japan should be told the truth about what the older generation did to China.
J. Wong, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Which has killed more Chinese - wartime Japan or Communism? The present Chinese government can apologize first.
Michael Gilliam, California, USA

Japan needs to look to Germany for a lesson on how to face up to their actions in World War II. Whether or not the Chinese have been saints is entirely irrelevant. The issues are the present and past actions of the Japanese and whether or not that entitles them to a permanent seat on the Security Council.
Justin Kim, New York, USA

The Chinese government manipulates the people by using anti-Japan sentiment
George Ramirez, New York, USA
China ingrained hatred of Japan into its people. China does not tell the people that Japan has apologized numerous times or that Japan has been giving aid to China. The Chinese government manipulates the people by using anti-Japan sentiment, which is also a jab at US policy in the Far East.
George Ramirez, New York, USA

For those wanting to know why there are no Chinese citizens resident on the mainland giving their opinion here, it is because the BBC is blocked in China.
Mike, Oxford

People should stop comparing The Rape of Nanjing with Cultural Revolution. We, Chinese, learnt our lesson with the Communist Party, but it doesn't mean we will forget what the Japanese did to our grandparents. English or Americans never suffer like Russians, Jews, Chinese, Koreans, or Asians and they will never understand what it is like.
Stephen, Hong Kong

Just imagine how you would react if Germany had a shrine to the Nazis or Hitler? How could we forget the past when the Japanese PM continuously visits the war criminal shrine? Please respect our anger, and our painful memory of being slaughtered by the Japanese army.
Doraemon, China

I have yet to read a text book that does not manipulate history
Corey Henderson, Bellingham USA
While the manipulation of history is quite regrettable, it is simply a fact of life. History is written by the victors most often, and secular history is written by those within the closed systems. Everything in the world is viewed through perspectives. Humans naturally seek to show their own people, town, religion, or country in the light that they feel makes it the most attractive. I have yet to read a text book that does not manipulate history. It is clear that this attack on the history text books has more to do with political relations than actual concern over history.
Corey Henderson, Bellingham USA

While Japan obviously needs to come forth with a formal apology, China needs to handle the issue more diplomatically and less accusatively.
Andrew Chalfant, Hakodate, Japan

What the Japanese government has been doing is analogous to a German government allowing a textbook denying the existence of the Holocaust to be used and going to a church worshipping Adolf Hitler every year (1068 war criminals were enshrined in Yasukuni, to which the Japanese Prime minister went yearly). Tiananmen Square was terrible but it is incomparable to the war time crimes. It's not about anger towards the past. It's about facing up to the darkness that humanity is capable of.
Ying-Wan Lam, Chicago, US

The Chinese complaints that the Japanese do not face up to history are entirely hypocritical. The Japanese are well aware of their past - they paid a terrible price for what they did during World War II. Are two atomic bombings not enough punishment?
Ivan Poupyrev, Tokyo, Japan

What is being suggested here is that the Japanese people should be held responsible for the actions of their fathers. If that is so, then the UK and the US are in real trouble.
D Baumgardner, BC, USA

While the Japanese perhaps need to be more politically apologetic, China has no room to talk
T L Smith, Denver, CO, USA
While there is widespread protest over the "sanitized" Japanese textbooks, I attended high school in Japan, and was taught about Japanese atrocities much in the same way that I was in the United States. If glossing over historical atrocities kept countries out of the Security Council, we'd have no Security Council. While the Japanese perhaps need to be more politically apologetic, China has no room to talk.
T L Smith, Denver, CO, USA

What is most sad is that Chinese cannot even express their views on this forum. Who's the government we should be criticizing?
Sean, Norman, OK, USA

Two wrongs don't make a right. Japan's history books should acknowledge the past, and China should be a bit more concerned about the present.
James, Arlington VA, USA

The People's Republic's atrocities against its own people over the last sixty years make any Japanese transgressions of the past seem small by comparison. China is merely stoking anti-Japanese feelings to deflect attention away from its repressive regime and continued human rights abuses. Japan owes China nothing.
Kurt, Chicago, IL, USA

Mainland Chinese history textbooks cover very little about the land reform in the 50s. Landlords were not just forced in to giving up their land but also received heavy punishment - many were killed. The Culture Revolution is another taboo of China's Communist government. If Mainland Chinese march to protest against the Japanese for approving the new textbook, they are also protesting against their own government.
Seki, Hong Kong

I think China is no nation to criticize since Japan currently values human rights and China does not. Also, It is impossible for us westerners to determine who's right and who's wrong since oriental culture is very different and complicated.
Jose, San Juan, PR, USA

China's actions over Taiwan and the recent anti-Japanese protests will do nothing to ease China's neighbours
P Orkey, London, UK
While Western investors are getting excited about investment possibilities in China, her Asian neighbours are worried about the expansionist tendencies she may harbour as she develops economically. They remember back to the glory days of the Middle Kingdom, when countries near China were forced to pay her "tributes". China's actions over Taiwan and the recent anti-Japanese protests will do nothing to ease China's neighbours.
P Orkey, London, UK

Of course I have learned from history as a Japanese person. First, a good relationship with US is critical. Secondly, to win the war is critical. I think Koizumi does a good job especially in the US relationship.
Ken Sato, Tokyo, Japan

China's official reaction to Japan is hypocrisy. China's blatant disregard for human rights and its official denials of its own massacres in Tiananmen and in Taiwan undermines the legitimacy of their accusation of Japan. China is "the pot calling the kettle black."
Taeyun, Washington, DC

This is a question of diplomacy. If Japan can't do a better job than this with its neighbours at the very time it is seeking a permanent UNSC seat, I'd have to say their bid probably ought to be turned down.
Conorsan, Japan

Japan should never be allowed to join the UN Security Council until they demonstrate a non-racist and xenophobic attitude towards their Asian neighbours. The general Japanese attitude towards blacks is abhorrent. The Chinese have a right to be cautious of Japanese reconstructions of history. They are just the beginnings of future belligerence.
Ammun, Oslo, Norway

A sincere apology now is in Japan's long-term interests
Mark, Canada
Japanese nationalists should keep in mind that the power of the USA may one day decline and with it their secure position. Japan would be wise not to make enemies of its neighbours, otherwise all the money in the world won't save it. A sincere apology now is in Japan's long-term interests. Sadly, the nationalists seem too arrogant to offer one.
Mark, Canada

It's simplistic to blame the Chinese government for spurring anti-Japanese sentiments when there are thousands of people who've suffered first hand from WWII horrors. If had experienced WWII horrors first hand, and have had it denied for over 50 years, how would this make you feel? How would you share your torment with your children? How will these children, some of whom will rise to power, consider the issue?
Louis, London, UK

It really disgusts me to see how many people are programmed to think China's human rights are bad. Just go to China, open up a newspaper and see for yourself how many articles criticize the government. When will the American people to realize, "China human rights abuse" and "Iraqi Weapon of Massive Deception" are used by American government and media to leverage public opinion.
Robert, New York City

The protesters were not organised by Chinese communist party. This was voice of all the Chinese! Why can't Japan be a responsible country like Germany?! The Chinese are not expecting an apology but a recognition of real history and payment for Asian casualties who were and are still being hurt by the Japanese!
Jason Wang, London

Japan needs to apologise. My grandfather was a prisoner of war in Hong Kong by the Japanese, and till the day he died he was upset that Japan never really apologized for what they did. Japan needs to face up to what they did.
Phil Morais, Hong Kong (living in US)

I think the main issue is that Japan has a culture which places honour above all
Ketan Khare, Mumbai, India

I think the main issue is that Japan has a culture which places honour above all, to be cut rather than bend. Japan has to accept its criminal acts during war, own up to its mistake. First step should be apologizing to the entire world. In the meantime, what amazes me is the protest occurring in controlled China - democracy at the pleasure of the government.
Ketan Khare, Mumbai, India

Why are no mainland Chinese postings here? Is this site blocked by their government?
Kelly, Penticton, Canada

History is unchangeable
VK Roy, Tokyo
All the Chinese people who went to demonstrate against a Japanese school book, I have a question for them. Does any Chinese school book talk about the 1989 Tiananmen massacre or Tibet occupation? History is unchangeable, no matter what is written in a school in any corner of this world.
VK Roy, Tokyo

Perhaps these new textbooks are a whitewash, but I think it is unfair that the younger generation of Japanese should apologise for something they were not involved in.
Phil, Newcastle, England

Every country on earth has probably committed crimes against humanity at one point or another. The only way to ensure that such things do not happen again is by bringing it all out into the open which unfortunately Japan, as well as many other countries, has not.
Sean Kerrigan, Boston, USA

China's attack on Japan comes at a time when its own attitude towards Taiwan, is under close scrutiny. Its timing and choice of controversy is suspicious to say the least.
Mike Atkins, Brighton, UK

Japan's offences were nearly 70 years ago, China's are now
Stuart, Taiwan
There are countries which have a right to ask Japan to face up to its history - China is certainly not one of them. Japan's offences were nearly 70 years ago, China's are now.
Stuart, Taiwan

It's amazing how hypocritical we can be when looking at countries like Japan. Glossing over a country's history is nothing new. Even in America, textbooks lack detail in the crimes against the Native Americans and even slavery.
Andrew Anderson, River Falls, USA

China has shut down Google in the past because you could find the truth about the country and what other people say. Japan has never done that. China has no right to keep trying to change the Japanese text book. This is the age of information. The Japanese can get information on the internet even in school, so why does China have to be violent because they don't like something?
Kevin, USA

The tension between these two countries is unfortunately going to get worse as both sides' understanding of that part of history grows increasingly apart.
Chris Lo, HK

Japan has apologized seventeen times. When is enough enough?
Jim, Pittsburgh, USA
This is part of the new "Culture of Apology". First we had the Pope apologizing for the Counter Reformation, even though it was 400 years ago. President Clinton apologized for black slavery 150 years after the last slave was freed and Abraham Lincoln had already apologized. Japan has apologized seventeen times. When is enough enough?
Jim, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

It's high time that Beijing got with the program. Yes, the atrocities did take place, but they were over 60 years ago, and weren't done by the current generation in Japan. Beijing needs to realize that waving a red flag won't make them the most powerful nation in Eastern Asia. Beijing has a proven record of more recent human rights atrocities, which just makes them a bunch of hypocrites.
Ian, Newport, USA

The Chinese are right. Japan has never faced its past as the Germans did. If Japan wants to continue being a global player then it must be able to accept responsibility about its past and formally apologise.
Bruno, Edmonton, Canada

A permanent seat on the UN Security Council is not a commodity to be bought
Chris, SF, USA
Japan should remember that a permanent seat on the UN Security Council is not a commodity to be bought by money, and that it can only be won with respect and trust from other countries, especially those neighbouring her.
Chris, SF, CA, USA

If anyone came to Japan, you would see that this country is filled with people who have deep remorse over their war time acts! The Japanese want to look to the future, so let a formal apology be given and let's move forward.
Don, Tokyo, Japan

This is one of those situations where both sides are wrong, the Japanese for glossing over their crimes in WWII and the Chinese for whipping up xenophobic hysteria and ignoring their own horrendous crimes. After all, the Chinese communists killed far more Chinese than the Japanese ever did, and Japan has reformed into a modern democracy, while China is still a repressive police state. If the state of human rights was the criteria for Security Council membership, Japan would now have a seat and China would be removed.
Mat Krepicz, Toronto, Canada

Japan has been forgiven for their crimes in World War II but the crimes will never be forgotten
Wil Ng, Singapore
Japan has been forgiven for their crimes in World War II but the crimes will never be forgotten. Now what Asians want is for Japanese not to forget their own crimes too. I wonder how many ministers etc in Japan knows about what their country did in World War II. And to have the premier visiting the shrine of murders and rapists is unacceptable.
Wil Ng, Singapore

I just can't understand why it is so hard for the Japanese to admit their wrongdoings and to apologise. The Germans can do it and then they won the forgiveness and respect from others. If one doesn't face the history, one can't learn from it. How can we be sure that the Japanese won't repeat the same fault again in the future?
Yvonne, Hong Kong

How would they like it if US textbooks referred to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "science fairs," turned "freak shows?"
Willy Chen, Madison, WI, USA

Did Japanese government ever consider it clearly: why Germany has good relationships with all EU countries after World War II, and then why Japan cannot do this? If a country can't make its neighbours trust it, how can it make the world trust it? So, how can the Japanese believe that they have the possibility of having a permanent seat in the UNSC?
Bryan, Sheffield, UK

Japan must fess up to the atrocities committed during World War II before a permanent seat is made on the Security Council
Kelli McCormack, USA
Although China has no room to accuse others of massacres, they are already on the Security Council. Japan long denied the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the rape of Nanjing. Their pattern of ethnocentrisms and denial must be brought to light, and Japan must fess up to the atrocities committed during World War II before a permanent seat is made on the Security Council.
Kelli McCormack, Fort Lauderdale, USA

Canada took responsibility for Japanese internment during World War II, paying a handsome sum for losses, yet my late uncle never received so much as a real apology for starvation and torture in a Japanese POW camp. It's too late for him, but not too late to acknowledge the past, and move forward.
Brian Lee, Toronto, Ontario

I lived for 10 years in China. I did not meet one person who knew of, let alone discussed, China's invasion of Vietnam in 1979. Neither did anyone under the age of 50 have any idea of the 30 million dead because of the Great Leap Forward under Mao. There are countless other examples of how the Communist Party deliberately distorts history, including the claim in its Beijing based Military Museum that one million US soldiers were killed during the Korean War. There were never one million US soldiers in the country. How dare they lecture others on facing history.
Ashley, Hong Kong

China should also face up to its own black history during the Culture Revolution and Invasion of Tibet.
Anders Brunell, Trosa, Sweden

Can anyone direct me to a Chinese textbook, which accurately reflects the events of Tiananmen Square?
Bruce Child, Stockport

Is the Chinese Communist party open and honest about its history?
Peter Filicietti, Thailand
I agree with John, Ossining, USA - what the Japanese did was evil, but what the Communists did to their fellow Chinese was vastly worse. Is the Chinese Communist party open and honest about its history? Do they invite other scholars in to see how they are doing now?
Peter Filicietti, Thailand

While Japan does have an officially sanctioned blindness to its wrongdoing in WWII, it is wrong to blow the textbook problem out of proportion. About 15 schools in Japan use the 'sanitised' textbook in question. Other books are more direct. In the school where I work, Japanese soldiers are shown horrifically abusing Allied POWs. Both sides need to can the rhetoric and discuss things calmly and logically.
Eamon Watters, Shinjo, Japan

Who are the Chinese Communists to lecture anybody on historical accuracy? The rape of Tibet is known as a "liberation". The Chinese I have met know nothing of the horrors that have been carried out in their western colony.
Jim, Tokyo

Why open up old wounds? World War II is being laid to rest with the passage of time
Jeremy, Atlanta, USA

Why open up old wounds? What about the wars of 100 years ago, or 500 years ago? World War II is being laid to rest with the passage of time. There's no point in China bringing this up unless it has a modern axe to grind. And China's own record on human rights and atrocities is pretty dismal.
Jeremy, Atlanta, USA

These things will come as a surprise to many westerners, including myself as we don't hear much abut what happened in this region. But I do have a problem with the Chinese complaining about the past when they are currently repressing their own minorities, especially the Uighur Turks in the north of the country. Shame on China. Please clean up your own abuses and then others will start to listen to you.
Bilal Patel, London

Though the act of glossing over its country's wartime atrocities is totally intolerable, I don't think marching protests, causing destruction to Japanese assets or boycotting Japanese goods will help. Indeed, boycotting Japanese goods will harm our own country. Japan can boycott our goods as well. So, any more destruction or damages towards the Japanese asset will only put ourselves in danger. No-one loves war, and I am sure the Chinese are no exception. What the Chinese want is a peaceful resolution of the issue.
Pieta, Hong Kong

A civilized country should apologise for its past atrocities and the history books must reflect the facts.
Tapan K Basu, Burlington, NJ, USA

The textbook row serves as a useful subterfuge by the Chinese government to underscore that it portends to be the dominant power in East Asia, as opposed to Japan. In regards to the Security Council and human rights in general, it is hard for China to argue against Japan's place there. Although Japan may gloss over its wartime atrocities, China's much more recent history of widespread human rights injustices leaves one questioning the legitimacy of a Security Council altogether.
Jeffrey B, Boston, USA

Japan should look to its past as a mirror for the future. I am British Chinese and am trying to have empathy for both sides of the story. But it appears Japanese people are too proud to admit their past; I mean 10 billion people can't be wrong! However, I was almost in tears when I visited China last year, and saw an elderly women weeping about the past Japanese atrocities that happened to her. She could have easily been my grandmother.
Kathryn Ning, London

All of China's political moves of late should be of concern to the rest of the world
Andy, Virginia
All of China's political moves of late should be of concern to the rest of the world. Its war posturing against Taiwan, its total disregard for human rights, and this latest round of violent racist protests against Japan indicate that China's purposes for global expansion are purely nefarious in nature. Admitting such a monstrous behemoth into the WTO was one of the biggest mistakes the free world made. China is a disgrace to human freedom and world peace and should be shunned by the free world.
Andy, Virginia

I wonder how many Chinese have read through Japan-approved history textbooks. The judgement should not be biased before the whole content is disclosed. If the Chinese want to challenge the Japanese by saying we have an inhuman manner, they have got to try to be civilized themselves first.
Milton HSU, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

This makes me wonder how American textbooks of the future will describe the current war in Iraq.
Mary Ann, Buffalo, NY, USA

No permanent seat - no money for the UN. Japan needs to show her political and financial strength this time. Many countries never apologise for their past, such as the UK, Spain and France so why should Japan?
Makoto Tanabe, Japan

China has a long history of mobilising anti foreigner sentiment when its leadership has become morally bankrupt as is the current regime. The government's support and tacit encouragement of violent mob action against foreign interests clearly is an indication that the Communist Party has lost the "Mandate of Heaven" and is stirring up this unrest to misdirect the Chinese people away from the real problems in China such as corruption, environmental degradation and civil disobedience in the countryside caused by local abuses of power. I think that Mr Wen should indeed "face up to history" and understand that those who don't learn from it are doomed to repeat it.
David, Hong Kong

These protests do not simply come from nowhere. They are based on legitimate grievances
Jack Teng, Canada

These protests do not simply come from nowhere. They are based on legitimate grievances, which Japan conveniently chooses to ignore and claims to be the victim. For people who may not quite understand Asians' anger at Japan, imagine if the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited a shrine every year that paid tribute to both Hitler and Goebbles. Would that be pleasant? Would there be no European/global reaction? This is precisely what Koizumi is doing every time he visits the Yasukuni shrine and perpetually fails to recognize Japan's war crimes.
Jack Teng, Toronto, Canada

If Japan do not face up what they did in Nanjing in 1937 how can they be trusted in the future?
Lang, Cheshire, UK

Japan should consider cutting relations to China and Korea completely. We don't need them as friends to survive. We should also leave the UN if we don't get a place on the Security Council board. Japan saves a huge amount of money, around 25% of the UN budget. We won't worry if we are isolated because our friends will remain our friends whether we are in the UN or not.
Koji Takihara, Engi, Switzerland

I'd like to see Koizumi 'apologize' and express relief that the Japanese Army killed fewer Chinese than Chairman Mao did. The Chinese should get used to the idea of a rising Japanese nationalist sentiment to counter their own nationalist rebirth.
John, Ossining, USA

Chinese Premier Wen says, "Only a country that respects history, takes responsibility for past history and wins over the trust of people in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibility in the international community". Has anyone bothered to check out Chinese school textbooks? Can anyone out there possibly believe they aren't filled with lies and distortions that dwarf those in the new Japanese textbooks? What hypocrites!
Edward Gale, London, UK

A country that disregards its history has no right to talk about the future. How can we believe that Japan is going to play a positive role in the UN if all it has been trying to do is to glorify its evil past?
Tina Gong, Manchester

Most Japanese have a vagary that the people in Asian countries invaded by Japan in World War II forget the Japanese atrocities only by providing economic assistance. But it is far from enough. Japanese should do more to get complete trust of Asian countries.
Ning Ying, Geneva, Switzerland

I am not surprised at all. It's the style of politicians in charge of Japan currently. Could you think of Japanese soldiers in the middle of Iraq five years ago, whether it's humanitarian or not? It is the issue, style I talk about. We should all remember the stupid reasons why world wars have started.
Ilgaz Ocal, Istanbul, Turkey

Can we ask some European historians to prepare textbooks for Chinese, Japanese and Korean schools? I believe they could provide a moderate and fair view of our history.
Zhang Xi Qun, London, UK

They should stop blaming their troubles on foreign enemies that in reality do not exist
Kouno Taro, Tokyo

Japan is the perfect scapegoat for China and South Korea to use as a political tool to bind their troubled nation. Their view of Japan is bent based on racial hatred fumed by nationalism and hardly reflects modern democratic Japan. We have embraced pacifist foreign and internal policies for 60 years and played a responsible role. China and South Korea's march to nationalism is troubling and reminds us of the sad path that led to the former Japanese Empire's demise. They should stop blaming their troubles on foreign enemies that in reality do not exist.
Kouno Taro, Tokyo, Japan

Japan has done many good deeds around the world. However for history not to repeat itself, it is imperative that a country comes to terms with its past. From this perspective European nations, especially Germany, have been exemplary vis--vis of their behaviour in the Second World War. Japan should apologize to both China and South Korea. At the end of the day, they, the Japanese, are as Asian as you can get and their relationship with other civilisations in the region will determine their destiny. America is part of the West. This century will be increasingly defined by alliances based on similarities in culture, religion etc. For the sake of the New Asian Century I believe the Japanese will come around and do the right thing eventually.
Yaw D Manful, Accra, Ghana

I am sure the Chinese textbooks cover in full the Party's involvement in supporting and supplying the Khmer Rouge? Or as mentioned by another post, the attack on UN forces in Korea?
James Squire, Melbourne, Australia

My wife didn't have a clue what happened between Japan and China during the war. Her education during the 70s just avoided the subject completely
Malc Holmes, England

I love Japan and its people. My wife is Japanese and I spent two very enjoyable years living and working there. Japan's attitude to this part of their history does anger me though. We all must learn from our mistakes and errors but re-writing history to make history more acceptable will do nothing to help gain greater international respect in the short term or educate its children in the long term. My wife didn't have a clue what happened between Japan and China during the war. Her education during the 70s just avoided the subject completely since it was, at the time, considered an embarrassment. It seems children growing up today will also be deprived of the truth about their own history.
Malc Holmes, Milton Keynes, England

Japan has tended to remind its people of the huge human and economic losses it suffered following its defeat in WWII, often conveniently forgetting the devastation and war crimes it inflicted on its Asian neighbours. China, on the other hand, had kindly given waiver to Japan on war compensation, which has helped its post-war economic recovery. In this respect, Japan seems to be a smug and pathetic country.
Yim Chek Fah, Penang, Malaysia

The latest outburst of protest by the Chinese against the Japanese due to their occupation and war crimes during World War II could lead Japan to take a rapprochement to Taiwan, who sees itself threatened by China. Most countries in the world have human rights abuse cases they would rather not discuss. It seems that a Cold War is on the rise in Asia.
WM Wyndham, Cape Town, South Africa

Japanese textbooks have always glossed over the country's wartime atrocities and Japanese Prime Ministers have always visited sites enshrining the war. This anti-Japanese sentiment in China is primarily a reaction - spurred on by the Chinese government - against Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and in my view rightly placed as Japan has never really been made to atone, like Germany has, for its rampage across the Asian continent in the years leading up to and during the Second World War.
Jason Unrau, Inuvik, Canada

China also manipulates its textbooks
Frank, York, UK

China also manipulates its textbooks - for example, Chinese students learn that the Chinese involvement in the Korean War was defensive even though Mao attacked the UN force long before it approached the border. The region's scholars should work together to find an account of the war that is acceptable to everyone. But the CCP should stop manipulating the situation for its own benefits by tolerating the protests, when it forbids ones on social issues, civil rights and democracy.
Frank, York, UK

The fact is that none of the countries in East Asia victimized by Japan in the past will tolerate the ambiguity of the Japanese towards their own wartime history. China is one of the worst victims and more important countries must take the responsibility and stand up to them. Especially now the Japanese have gone even further by glorifying the wartime past as if they were fighting for the freedom of the whole Asia. You would think it was a joke, but it is a crime.
Zo, Chinese in London

This kind of hypocrisy is typical of the ruling communist party in China. So when are the Communist Party going to apologise to the Chinese people for the innocent millions who died in the cultural revolution during Mao's rule? I wonder what kind of coverage this massacre has in the Chinese textbooks? Instead they chose to preserve the body of the architect of this evil in a museum, and charge people for it!
Weng Wai, London, England

Japanese should be face to the truth what they did in the Second World War, only that is the right way to know war is horrible rather lying to their young.
Sophia, UK

Japan should learn from Germany about how to deal with war crimes.
Zhou, Manchester

For the Chinese and the Japanese to live the present and the future nagging about old scars would not do both any good. Rallying against Japan or throwing stones at the Japanese Ambassador's house will make the Japanese admit any of the past atrocities, just think of how many Chinese students and employees are studying and working in Japan. Are those demonstrators doing them any good? Enough past hatred please.
Injy, Egypt

The Chinese people and government have every right to protest against the Japanese government. After all, would we behaved any different, if post war German governments adopted the same policy?
Joey Kaplan, Woking, Surrey

It is disgraceful that Japan will not face up to it its brutal history. However, it is rank hypocrisy of China to condemn Japan, given its own brutal history against the Tibetans and Uighurs which continues to the present day.
Fergus Dodd, London, England

The Japanese establishment seems unable or unwilling to accept that during that period of history that some of their countrymen were guilty of crimes against humanity. Japanese courts rejecting compensation for the sex slaves and now the government's approved textbooks gloss over such war crimes. Should they really be allowed to seek a permanent seat on the Security Council to represent what some of them still perceive as their empire?
Damian, Sheffield

China and Korea have legitimate concerns with Japan's latest refusal to own up to its past. Japan is sending the message that it does not care about its past atrocities or that it does not remember them.
Justin, Gunsan, South Korea

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific