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Textbook author says he’s ready to request revisions

Date Posted: 2007-10-29

A month after Okinawans staged a massive rally demanding school textbook references to the Battle of Okinawa be changed back to where they were before government intervention, one author says he will advise the education ministry of his plan to do so.
Noburu Sakamoto this weekend told reporters he will reinstate the references to Japan’s military ordering Okinawan civilians to commit suicide rather than surrender to American forces in his textbook, and says he’ll go even farther. Sakamoto, a high school teacher himself, says he’ll include references to the September 29th rally in Ginowan, describing the angry reactions Okinawans felt toward the government for directing textbooks delete the explanations of Japanese Imperial Army involvement.
The 51-year-old author, who followed directives last Spring to make changes, says he’ll submit his modification to the education ministry, and that he’ll quit if the government or his publisher balk at the changes. “As a textbook author, I regret what I did to the people in Okinawa,” he said, “and I’d like to take responsibility.” Tokyo officials expressed surprise at Sakamoto’s conversation with the media, noting authors do not normally discuss their writings before being approved by the education ministry.
Education Minister Kisaburo Toki last month announced publishers could request revisions returning texts to the original state, but suggested those changes would have to undergo a further review by the Textbook Authorization Council.

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