Japanese school textbooks accused of rewriting wartime history

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The ongoing debate over Japan's version of historical events in its school textbooks focuses on the 1945 Battle of Okinawa in which the military were believed to have coerced civilians into mass suicides faced with certain defeat.

The government controversially decided two years ago to delete or rewrite references to the mass suicides in its national curriculum history textbooks resulting in a string of protests across Japan.

However, although education officials agreed to reinstate the passages, the new textbooks will not contain the requested word "forced" in the context of the Imperial Army's role in the suicides, according to new reports.

Instead, the wording has been delicately rephrased to state less directly that people were "driven to suicides amid the Japanese military's involvement".

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