• Kyodo

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Four more Okinawa municipal assemblies lodged a protest Thursday against the central government and called for the education ministry to retract its order to history textbook publishers to play down the military’s role in ordering wartime mass murder-suicides.

The village assembly in Tokashiki, where more than 300 villagers killed others and themselves, unanimously adopted a statement saying high school material adhering to the ministry’s instruction would be “an intrusive textbook that does not squarely address historical facts and in no way is admissible.”

The assemblies of the village of Ie, the city of Nago city and the town of Nishihara took similar action the same day, thus 27 of Okinawa’s 41 local assemblies have protested the ministry’s order.

One village history book says more than 300 people killed themselves or killed other family members with hand grenades or farm implements around March 28, 1945, shortly after the U.S. military landed on Tokashiki Island, west of Okinawa Island.

“It is an undeniable fact that ‘mass suicides’ could not have occurred were it not for an order, coercion, manipulation or other acts by the Japanese military,” the Tokashiki assembly said in a statement addressed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and education minister Bummei Ibuki.

The assembly also demanded the publishers restore the descriptions about the mass murder-suicides that have been deleted as a result of the ministry’s instruction.

For related stories:

Texts stop saying army forced Okinawa suicides
Okinawa city rips efforts to alter textbooks

Rally in Okinawa protests government’s view on military role in war

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