The Plank

Japanese Textbooks, Continued


In a decision that, shockingly, made a lot of headlines in Asia, Japan will no longer mention wartime atrocities on Okinawa in high school textbooks. Victims of imperial Japan's human rights abuses may (rightly) find this sort of thing menacing, but the government and its allies are looking increasingly pathetic:

Yasuhiro Nakasone, a former prime minister who is Abe's staunch ally, recently denied what he wrote in 1978. In a memoir about his Imperial Navy experiences in Indonesia, titled "Commander of Three Thousand Men at Age Twenty-Three," he wrote that some of his men "started attacking local women or became addicted to gambling.""For them, I went to great pains, and had a comfort station built," Nakasone wrote, using the euphemism for a military brothel.But in a meeting with foreign journalists a week ago, Nakasone, now 88, issued a flat denial. He said he had actually set up a "recreation center," where his men played Japanese board games like go and shogi.

Board games?

--Isaac Chotiner

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