What children in Japan learn about their own recent past:
We’ve learnt that Japan fought a war with China and colonised parts of the country. Sometimes the Japanese were a bit cruel, forcing places to adopt Japanese names and forcing people to adopt the Japanese language. But we didn’t really get into the details of what actually happened. I feel my understanding of the war is a bit thin.
Yeah, it is. It’s those textbooks we keep hearing about – the ones that infuriate the Chinese and Koreans (and Indonesians? Indians? Burmese? Thais? We don’t hear so much about that) because they radically minimize what Japan actually did when it ‘fought a war with’ (i.e. invaded) China (and the rest of East Asia). It involved a little more than forcing places to adopt Japanese names and forcing people to adopt the Japanese language. Forced labour in lethal conditions would be one item.
Turkey, Japan, Serbia; denial denial denial. Not good.