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Cabinet admits soldiers ordered 'some' Okinawa deaths, but still won't stop textbook deletions

Date Posted: 2007-07-05

In a move sure to renew the furor over the rewriting of history of the Battle of Okinawa, Prime Minister Shizo Abe's Cabinet has conceded Okinawans died as a result of orders from Japanese soldiers.

The Cabinet position paper admits 'some' Okinawans committed suicide during the 1945 battle after being ordered to do, but refuses to order textbook revisions stopped. The government had earlier ordered textbook publishers to remove references to soldiers’ involvement, triggering Okinawa Prefecture and many municipal governments to pass resolutions urging a stop to the changes.

“War victims among residents included those who were recognized as combat participants,” the paper written to answer complaints from opposition party New Party Daichi states. “Some cases were regarded as victims under the military’s orders.” The paper adds, though, that “textbook screeners gave appropriate opinions on textbook expressions that might trigger misunderstandings over the Battle of Okinawa.”

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry had ordered textbook creators to slash explanations that the military played a role in ordering mass civilian suicides and murder-suicides during the battle.

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