An advisory panel to Tokyo Gov. Yukio Aoshima proposed April 20 two versions of a draft for a planned war museum in Tokyo that drop a controversial phrase describing the capital as a “military city” during World War II.

One draft in addition proposes that more emphasis be given to the massive United States air raids targeting Tokyo. The planned hall is among a number of nationwide controversies over the contents of war museum displays to remember war victims.

The structure, to be dedicated mainly to victims of the U.S. air raids over Tokyo, has drawn harsh criticism from scholars and politicians who claim the draft unfairly justifies the “genocide” of the bombings by describing Tokyo as a city with many military facilities to be targeted.

The opponents have formed a group, led by University of Tokyo Professor Nobukatsu Fujioka, and argues that the governor’s panel is controlled by leftist political forces with “masochistic views on the war.”

In apparent response to the criticism, the panel unveiled two versions of the new draft. In one version, the phrase “Tokyo — the military city” is dropped from the exhibits. In the second version, the phrase is dropped and a proposal is made for more space to be given to displays on U.S. air raids. The panel proposes that the floor space be boosted to 400 sq. meters from 225 sq. meters. Both proposals call for exhibits at sites of former military facilities in the capital.

Metropolitan government officials admitted the Tokyo phrase may have been “misleading,” but said the new proposals are in line with the original framework.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.