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January 09, 2009

New texts unlikely to be clear about the army's role in Okinawa suicides

The Japanese government asked textbook authors to delete references to the Japanese army's role in the mass suicides in Okinawa at the end of World War II. This led to large protests in Okinawa and the government was obliged to back down.

However, the latest news is that although the texts will state that the Japanese army was involved, they will not state that the army 'forced' people to commit suicide. In the past, textbooks have been very clear about the army's role, and many Okinawa residents feel strongly that this should not have been changed.

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