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Chinese, Japanese, Koreans Co-Write New History Textbook

A joint editorial committee of scholars from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea is writing a new history textbook to resist efforts to white-wash Japan's militaristic past.

The committee has published two books: The Contemporary and Modern History of Three East Asian Countries in 2005 and A Modern History of East Asia Beyond The Boundaries in 2012.

Committee members attending a history seminar in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, told Xinhua on September 10 that work on a third book has begun and is expected to be completed in 2020.

Li Xizhu, a fellow of the Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said scholars from the three countries have reached consensus on the focus of the book.

"It is to address the differences in how we, the three countries, see history and to respond to the current debate on historical issues," Li said.

Ueyama Yurika, a Japanese member, said the committee will create contents in line with education practice in each country's context so that the textbooks can be used more widely.

Scholars agree that a correct perception of history is the foundation for reconciliation in East Asia.

Japanese scholar Kasahara Tokushi said history textbooks in Japan contain fewer and increasingly more obscure contents on the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on December 13 of 1937 and started a slaughter lasting more than 40 days. About 300,000 civilians and Chinese soldiers who had laid down their arms were murdered. Over 20,000 women were raped.

Tokushi warned that if teachers can't teach it, neither do media report on it, young Japanese might be harder to find out the truth.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2017)

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