BEIJING — China reiterated its sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets on April 7 after new Japanese history textbooks described them as Japanese territory.
China is seriously concerned about Japan’s revisions to the textbooks, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a routine press conference.
Japan’s Education Ministry approved 18 textbooks on history, civics and geography on April 6 that will be used from next year in junior high schools.
The newly revised textbooks contain the Japanese government’s stance and claims in territorial disputes with its neighbors. About 18 types of the new books say the disputed territories are Japan’s.
Hua reaffirmed that the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been an inherent part of China and that China has abundant historical and legal evidence to prove it.
No matter how Japan tries to propagandize its position on the islands, it will never change the objective fact that China has sovereignty over them, Hua said.
Some textbooks also have new interpretations of Japan’s atrocities during World War II.
Of the Nanjing Massacre, some textbooks state that “captives and civilians were involved” in the tragedy and “casualties were exposed”, compared to the original words that the Japanese Army “killed many captives and civilians.” That “Japan’s atrocity was condemned” has been deleted from some books.
“Facts are facts. They should never be distorted,” said Hua, urging Japan to educate its younger generation correctly, fulfill its commitment to face up to history and reflect on its militarist aggression, and improve ties with its neighbors through practical action.