Nomination of Prof. Saburo IENAGA Saburo Ienaga for Nobel Peace Prize

AHRC - NOMINATION LETTER FOR NOBEL PRIZE                                                                  Canada ALPHA

Nomination Letter for Nobel Peace Prize

Signatories of Nobel Prize Nomination for IENAGA Saburo

Who are eligible as nominators for Nobel Peace Prize

Support Statements of Nominators and Supporters

Photos of Ienaga's struggle against censorship of history textbooks in Japan

Vancouver Sun, March 7, 2001 - Persistence of memory by John Price

Globe and Mail, March 8, 2001 - Frail professor nominated for Nobel

Globe and Mail, August 30, 1997 - Texts illegally censored, Japan court rules

Vancouver Sun, August 30, 1997 - Japanese historian wins war battle

Press statement issued on September 2, 1997 by "Chinese / Japanese / Korean / Filipino / Dutch / Jewish communities of Canada in response to Japanese Supreme Court Ruling

The Falsification of History Under the Guise of 'Self-Censorship' Has Been Forced onto Textbook Publishers

December 2000 Appeal by Japanese Historians and History Educators

Information : on the Outcome of the Japanese Government Textbook Screening of the History and Civics Textbooks Developed by the Members of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform

Appeal : A Textbook That Treads The Path of Constitution Denial and International Isolation Should Not Be Handed Over to Japanese Children (3 April 2001)



The historian George Santayana wrote that "Whoever forgets the past is doomed to relive it."

As we enter a new century there is a continuing danger that the lessons of the horror of world war which were so bitterly learned in the first half of the twentieth century may be forgotten.

Professor Saburo Ienaga has devoted a large part of his life to ensuring that the truth about what happened in Asia in the Second World War is known and remembered in his native Japan.

Professor Ienaga was born in 1913 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, and graduated from the Literature Department at Tokyo Imperial University (the present Tokyo University) in 1937. He became a teacher and in 1941 at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour he was a teacher in a high school in Niigata. He did not participate in the Second World War, and has spoken of his shame at failing to offer resistance as a teacher to the compulsory teaching of war propaganda and imperial myths at his high school during the war.

Professor Ienaga later became a professor at Tokyo University of Education and subsequently at Chuo University. He was awarded the Japan Academy Prize in 1948 and the title of Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University of Education. He became a specialist in the history of Japanese thought and Japanese cultural and legal history, and is the author of nearly one hundred works spanning from ancient to contemporary subjects. His broad range of subjects include " Historical study of the Independence of the Judiciary", " The Constitution in Historical Context", " Japanese Cultural History", and " The Pacific War".

In 1965 Professor Ienaga initiated a court case in Tokyo by suing the Japanese Government, which through "textbook screening" i.e. amendment and censorship of school textbooks, had been controlling the content of history taught in secondary schools. Books censored had included some of Professor Ienaga's works. Professor Ienaga then initiated his second and third lawsuits against the government. Through the textbook screening the government repeatedly removed or softened truthful descriptions of atrocities committed by the Japanese military before and during World War II. A notable example was the Government's insistence in Ienaga’s third lawsuit that references to the Nanking Massacre had to be " mentioned as what happened in confusion", although the massacre in fact involved the systematic killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians over a period of weeks. Another issue in dispute was the government's insistence that all textbooks avoid the negative expression "aggression" in relation to the Japanese Army's occupation of China and instead use only the term " military advance". Professor Ienaga's case was based on the argument that textbook screening violated the freedom of expression and freedom of education guaranteed in the Japanese constitution, and so were unconstitutional and illegal.

Professor Ienaga lost the first two lawsuits which he brought against the government in 1965 and 1967. The first suit lasted 27 years until 1993, and the second lasted 22 years from 1967 to 1989. In 1984 he initiated a third suit arising from eight screening comments made by the government on his draft textbooks from 1980 to 1983. In 1989 the district court ruled against most of his arguments. He then appealed to the High Court which ruled that three of the eight screening comments were illegal. These three screening comments include those relating to the description of the Nanking Massacre, including mention of widespread rape.

In 1997 Professor Ienaga's appeal on the remaining five points finally reached the Japanese Supreme Court, which ruled 3-2 in Professor Ienaga's favour that the Education Ministry had acted illegally when it removed from one of Professor Ienaga's textbooks a description of Japan's biological experiments on 3000 people in northern China during World War II. In these biological experiments, conducted by a germ warfare group called Unit 731, subjects were operated on without anaesthetics, injected with diseases such as typhoid and allowed to die without treatment. The Japanese Government has never acknowledged the existence of this unit, but its existence was documented because of the later confessions by some of the doctors involved in the activities.

Ienaga’s court challenge encouraged many school textbook authors to include descriptions of Japanese war atrocities in their texts. As a result, textbooks were significantly improved in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

However despite the fact that Professor Ienaga has devoted himself full time to the issue of the textbook screening since his retirement, and has been battling continuously to make it possible for the truth about World War II to be told since before he commenced his first legal action 35 years ago, his victory in 1997 was only partial. The Supreme Court rejected claims that four other portions of his book had been illegally censored including a passage which described the rape of Chinese women by Japanese soldiers in Northern China.

This partial victory reflects a continuing divide in Japan between those like Professor Ienaga who want the truth about World War II to be known and revisionists who claim that well-documented war crimes and atrocities did not occur. These revisionist claims are often used by right wing militarist groups and their sympathizers which continue to exercise an insidious influence on Japanese society. Those like Professor Ienaga who have spoken out for the truth have often been physically attacked by extremists or otherwise penalized. When Professor Ienaga first gained a victory in one of his textbook lawsuits in 1970 right-wing extremists issued death threats to him (as well as to the judge and to lawyers involved in the case) and his house was surrounded day and night by thugs who kept him awake by shouting slogans and banging pots and pans. The actions of Professor Ienaga in continuing to fight for the truth have therefore required great courage, as well as determination and persistence.

By his determined fight over so many years to ensure that Japanese young people are able to read the truth about their country's recent history Professor Ienaga has done more than probably any other living person to ensure that the lessons of the history of World War II in Asia are not forgotten and that George Santayana's grim prophecy is not fulfilled in this region of the world. His contribution deserves the international recognition which the Nobel Peace Prize confers and the aims of ensuring lasting peace and discouraging revival of militarism will be greatly furthered by such an award. We therefore nominate Professor Ienaga for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Signatories of Nobel Prize Nomination for IENAGA Saburo

List of nominators provided by the coordinating groups outside Japan (As of January 30, 2001)

I.    Members of national assemblies and governments, and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (total 19):

The Hon. David Anderson, P.C., Member of the House of Commons, Minister of Environment for Canada

Congressman David Bonior, United States House of Representatives

Libby Davies, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Takako Doi*, Leader of Social Democratic Party of Japan, Member of House of Representatives, the National Diet of Japan

Stan Dromisky, Members of the House of Commons, Canada

Glyn Ford, Member of European Parliament

Congressman Michael Honda, United States House of Representatives

The Lord Inglewood, Member of European Parliament

Etsuko Kawada*, Member of the House of Representatives, the National Diet of Japan   

Alan Peng-Fei Lee, Deputy to the Chinese National People's Congress (Hong Kong)

Derek Lee, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Dr. Leung Bing-Chung, Deputy to the Chinese National People's Congress (Hong Kong)

Sophia Leung, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Senator Carl Levin, the United States Senate

Shoji Motooka*, Member of House of Councillors, the National Diet of Japan   

Stephen Owen, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Joseph E. Peschisolido, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Svend Robinson, Members of the House of Commons, Canada

Graham Watson, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of its Human Rights Committee

* The Japanese diet members are provided by the coordinating group in Japan.


II.    University professors of law, political science, history and philosophy* (total 151):   

*Institutions listed for purposes of identification only

Howard Adelman, Professor, Philosophy, York University, Toronto

Charles K. Armstrong, Assistant Professor, History, Columbia University

Stephen Arons, Professor, Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Giovanni Arrighi, Professor of Sociology & and Director of the Institute for Global Studies in Culture, Power and History, Johns Hopkins University  

Yoshiko Ashiwa, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

E. Taylor Atkins, Assistant Professor, History, Northern Illinois University

Andrew E. Barshay, Professor, History, University of California, Berkeley

Beatrice S. Bartlett, Professor, History, Yale University

Lawrence W. Beer, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

Aaron Berman, Professor, History and Dean of Faculty, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

Mary Elizabeth Berry, Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley

Lucien Bianco, Professor Emeritus, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France

Robert Bickers, Lecturer in History, University of Bristol, U.K.

Herbert P. Bix, Professor of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Roger W. Bowen, Professor of History and President, State University of New York, New Paltz 

Barbara B. Burn, Associate Provost for International Programs, University of Massachusetts/Amherst 

Andrew Byrnes, Associate Professor and Director of Centre for Comparative and Public Law, University of Hong Kong

Milton Cantor, Professor, History, University of Massachusetts

Johannes M. M. Chan, Professor and Head of Department of Law, Hong Kong University  

Maria Hsia Chang, Professor, Political Science, University of Nevada, Reno

Albert H. Y. Chen, Professor of Law and Dean of Faculty of Law, Hong Kong University

Joseph Y. S. Cheng, Professor and Chair of Political Science, Contemporary China Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong  

Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Miriam Usher Chrisman, Professor Emeritus, History, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Paochin Chu, Professor of History, San Diego State University

Theodore Cook, Professor, History, William Paterson University

Bruce Cumings, Professor of History, University of Chicago

Richard D. DeAngelis, Professor Emeritus, Asian Studies, Fairfield College, Connecticut

Jerry Dennerline, Professor, History, Amherst College, Massachusetts

Dong Zhenhua, Professor, History, Beijing University, China

John W. Dower, Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jonathan Dresner, Assistant Professor of History, Coe College, Iowa

Prasenjit Duara, Professor, History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Melvin Dubofsky, Professor, History and Sociology, State University of New York, Binghamton

Alexis Dudden, Assistant Professor, History, Connecticut College

Arthur Power Dudden, Professor Emeritus, History, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania

Peter Duus, Professor of History, Stanford University

Robert Y. Eng, Professor, History, University of Redlands

Robert Entenmann, Professor of History, St. Olaf College University, Minnesota

Robert Eskildsen, Assistant Professor, History, Smith College, Massachusetts

Jana Everett, Professor, Political Science, University of Colorado, Denver

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Princeton University

Joshua Fogel, Professor, History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Fumiko Fujita, Professor of American History, Tsuda College, Japan

Suzanne Gay, Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, Oberlin College, Ohio

Andre Gunder Frank, Visiting Distinguished Professor of International Studies, Florida International University

Takashi Fujitani, Associate Professor, History, University of California, San Diego

Mark Gallicchio, Professor, History, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

Xian Gao, Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Senior Editor, China Social Sciences Documentation Publishing House, China

Timothy S. George, Assistant Professor of History, University of Rhode Island

Yash Ghai, Sir Y. K. Pao Professor of Public Law, Hong Kong University

Andrew Gordon, Professor of History and Director of the Reischauer Center, Harvard University

A. James Gregor, Professor, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

A. Tom Grunfeld, Professor of History, State University of New York, Empire State College

Jack Hammersworth, Professor, History, West Virginia University

Charles W. Hayford, Visiting Professor, History, Northwestern University, Illinois

Li He, Associate Professor, Political Science, Merrimack College, Massachusetts

Laura Hein, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University, Illinois

Joseph M. Henning, Assistant Professor, History, Saint Vincent College, Pennsylvania

Tze-ki Hon, Assistant Professor of History, State University of New York, Geneseo  

Germaine A Hoston, Professor, Political Science, University of California, San Diego

Shiping Hua, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Eckerd College, Florida 

James L. Huffman, H. Orth Hirt Professor of History, Wittenberg University, Ohio

Margaret R. Hunt, Professor, History, Amherst College, Massachusetts

William Johnston, Associate Professor of History, Wesleyan University, Connecticut 

Tetsuro Kato, Professor, Political Science, Hitotsubashi University, Japan 

Peter Katzenstein, Professor of Government, Cornell University

David L. Kenley, Assistant Professor of History, Marshall University, West Virgina

Ben Kiernan, Professor of History and Director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University

Audrey Kobayashi, Professor, Geography, Queen's University, Canada

J. Victor Koschmann, Professor of History, Cornell University  

Arne Kislenko, Professor, History, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Canada

Mark E. Lincicome, Associate Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts

Jonathan N. Lipman, Professor, History and Asian Studies, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

Chang Liu, Assistant Professor, History, Christopher Newport University, Virginia

Xiaoyuan Liu, Associate Professor of History, Iowa State University  

Dina Lowy, Assistant Professor, History, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania

Lu Yan, Assistant Professor of History, University of New Hampshire

Xiaobo Lu, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Barnard College, New York

Seiichi Makino, Professor, Japanese and Linguistics, Princeton University

Robert Marks, Professor of History, Whittier College, California

Janice Matsumura, Assistant Professor of History, Simon Fraser University, Canada  

Marlene J. Mayo, Associate Professor, History, University of Maryland, College Park

Richard H. Minear, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts/Amherst  

Mike M. Mochizuki, Associate Professor, Political Science, Chair of International Affairs and Japan-U.S. Relations of Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University

Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Professor, History, Australian National University

Ting Ni, Assistant Profosser, History, St. Mary's University, Minnesota

James B. Palais, Professor, History, University of Washington

Kathy Peiss, Professor and Chair, History, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Louis G. Perez, Professor of History & Director of General Education, Illinois State University

Elizabeth J. Perry, Professor of Government, Director of Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University

Paul Pickowicz, Professor of History, University of California at San Diego

Brian Platt, Assistant Professor, History, George Mason University, Virginia

Kenneth Pomeranz, Professor and Chair of History, University of California, Irvine

John Price, Associate Professor of History, University of Victoria, Canada  

Kenneth B. Pyle, Professor, History, University of Washington

Felix Rogers, Ph.D, President, Cranbrook Peace Foundation, Michigan

Murray A. Rubinstein, Professor of History, Baruch College, City University of New York

Wesley Sakaki-Uemura, Associate Professor of History, University of Utah  

Mitziko Sawada, Professor of History, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

James C. Scott, Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Keiko Seki, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Mark Selden, Professor of History & Sociology, State University of New York, Binghamton

Franziska Seraphim, Visiting Assistant Professor, History, Duke University, North Carolina

William Sewell, Assistant Professor, History, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada

Takashi Shimazaki, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Mona Siegel, Assistant Professor, History, University of Cincinnatti

Kerry Smith, Assistant Professor, History, Brown University, Rhode Island  

W. Donald Smith, Visiting Assistant Professor, History/East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois  

Alvin Y. So, Professor and Head, Division of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Susan Mitchell Sommers, Associate Professor of History, St. Vincent College, Pennsylvania 

Rob Stevens, Professor of Political Science, University of New South Wales, Australia

Su Zhiliang, Dean & Professor, History & Sociology, Shanghai Teachers University, China

Yan Sun, Associate Professor, Political Science, Queens and Graduate  School, City University of New York

Robert C. H. Sweeny, Associate Professor of History, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada 

Brij Tankha, Reader, History, University of Delhi, India

Hung-Chao Tai, Professor Emeritus, Political Sciecnce ,University of Detroit Mercy, Michigan

Yue-him Tam, Professor of History, Macalester College, Minnesota

Janet Theiss, Assistant Professor, History, University of Utah

Xian-sheng Tian, Assistant Professor of History, Metropolitan State College of Denver

Etsuro Totsuka, Associate Professor, Law (Comparative Legal Policies), University of Kobe, Japan

E. Patricia Tsurumi, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Victoria, Canada

John E. Van Sant, Assistant Professor, History, University of Alabama, Birmingham

Constantine Vaporis, Associate Professor, History, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Sinh Vinh, Professor, History, University of Alberta, Canada

Lukas Vischer, Professor Emeritus, Church History, University of Berne, Switzerland

Carrie Waara, Associate Professor of History, Castleton State College, Vermont

Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, Professor, History, York University, Canada

Frederic Wakeman, Professor, History, and Director, Institute of Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

James Wald, Associate Professor, History, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

Immanuel Wallerstein, Director, Fernand Braudel Center, State University of New York, Binghamton

Anne Walthall, Professor, History, University of California, Irvine

Enbao Wang, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii, Hilo  

Fei-ling Wang, Associate Professor, International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology

Masao Watanabe, Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Frederick S. Weaver, Professor, Economics and History, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

C. X. George Wei, Assistant Professor of History, Susquehanna University, Pennsylvania

Wei Hongyun, Professor of History, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

Wen Liming, Research Professor, Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Science, China

Bert Winther-Tamaki, Assistant Professor, Art History, University of California, Irvine

Donald E. Willmott, Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Asian Studies, York University, Canada

Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History, State University of New York, Albany

Daqing Yang, Assistant Professor, History, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Shujiro Yazawa, Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Mimi Yiengpruksawan, Professor of Art History, Yale University

Marcia Yonemoto, Assistant Professor, History, University of Colorado

Peter Zarrow, Professor of History, University of New South Wales, Australia

Suisheng Zhao, Associate Professor of Government, Colby College, Maine

Kate Xiao Zhou, Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii

Ling Xiao, Ph. D. Candidate, History, Brown University, Rhode Island

Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus of History, Boston University


Partial Listing of Signatories** 

provided by Ienaga Saburo-san o Heiwasho Koho ni Suisensuru-kai

(The Japanese Group for Nominating Saburo Ienaga for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize)

**The total number of signatories as of February 1, 2001 is 99.


Yoichi Kibata, Professor, History (Modern English History), University of Tokyo

Keiichi Eguchi, Professor, History (Modern/Contemporary Japanese History), Aichi University

Takao Matsumura, Professor, History (Social History), Keio Gijuku University

Masato Miyaji, Professor, History (History of Meiji Period), University of Tokyo

Yasuo Sugihara, Professor, Law (Constitutional Law), Surugadai University
Kenji Urata, Professor, Law (Constitutional Law), Waseda University

Contact of the Japanese Group: Shin'ichi Arai, Chair
c/o Kodomo to Kyokasho Zenkoku Netto 21
2-6-1-201 Iidabashi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0072, Japan
Tel. 03-3265-7606 Fax 03-3239-8590


Supporters of Nobel Prize Nomination for IENAGA Saburo

(total 170 as of January 30, 2001)

William B. Abnett, Senior Advisor, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Gretchen A. Adams, Ph. D. Candidate, History, University of New Hampshire

Linda Gail Arrigo, Ph.D. Sociology, Resident Director, Council for International Educational Exchange, Taipei Study Center, Taiwan

Yarong J. Ashley, Ph. D., Academic Professional, Sociology, University of Wyoming

Jinglu Ai, M. D., Ph. D., Department of Neurology, University of Toronto

Darrell E. Allen, Instructor, History, Seattle Pacific University

Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Professor, Economics, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

Chong-En Bai, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Finance, University of Hong Kong

Doris G. Bargen, Associate Professor, Japanese, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Lawrence W. Beer, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Colorado

Theodore Bestor, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University  

Francesca Bray, Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Timothy A. Brennan, Professor, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literatures, University of Minnesota

Jeffrey Broadbent, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Charles Cabell, Assistant Professor, Japanese, University of Montana

Patrick Caddeau, Assistant Professor, Literature, Amherst College  

Victor Lee Carpenter, Professor, Humanities, Hirosaki University, Japan

Yongchun Cai, Ph. D. Candidate,  Chinese Literature, University of Toronto  

Ming K. Chan, Research Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford University  

Frank L. Chance, Far Eastern Bibliographer, Princeton University

Howard Chang, Professor, Civil Engineering, San Diego State Univeristy 

Mathias E. Chang, Ph.D., Retired Manager, Ford Motor Co., Michigan

Chang Jui-te, Research Fellow, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, China

George Q. Zhao, Ph.D. Candidte, East Asian History, University of Toronto, Canada

Xiao-Lian Chen, M. D., Ph. D., Resident, Pennsylvania State University

Chak Yan Cheng, Professor of Research Program on Ethnic and Overseas Chinese, Lingnan University, Hong Kong 

William A. Christian, Jr., Independent Scholar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

John J. Clancey, Chairperson, Asian Human Rights Commission

Alvin P. Cohen, Professor, Chinese, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Deborah Davis, Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Judith M. Dennehy, Youth Minister, St. Jerome Church

Kristine Dennehy, Ph. D. Candidate, History, University of California, Los Angeles

Robert F. Dennehy, Professor, Management, Pace University

Brett de Bary, Professor of Asian Studies, Cornell University  

Masako Endo, Ph. D. Candidate, Sociology, State University of New York, Binghamton

Joan E. Ericson, Associate Professor, Japanese, Colorado College

Anita Fahrni, Member of Parliament, Canton Thurgau, Switzerland  

Basil Fernando, Executive Director, Asian Human Rights Commission

Norma Field, Professor and Chair, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Terre Fisher, Editor, Center for Chinese Studies Publications, University of Michigan

Stephen M. Forrest, Instructor, Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Bunji Fromartz, Attorney at Law, Brooklyn

Mobo C. F. Gao, Senior Lecturer, Chinese, University of Tasmania

Suzanne Gay, Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, Oberlin College

Lillian M. Genser, Former Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Wayne State University, Michigan

Tomoko Goto, Librarian, University of British Columbia, Canada

Robert P. Gray, Ph. D. Candidate, History, University of Michigan

Rev. Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

Feng Jen, Ph.D. Candidate, Advanced Social and International Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan

Han Jialing, Vice-researcher, Institute of Sociology, Beijing Academy of social science, China

Paul Harris, Barrister, Founding Chair of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

Michiko Hase, Assistant Professor, Women's Studies, University of Colorado

Yinan He, Ph. D. Candidate, Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert E. Hegel, Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Washington University  

Jacques Hersh, Professor, International Relations, Aalborg University, Denmark

Jeffry T. Hester, Associate Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

Christopher Hill, Lecturer, East Asian Literature, Harvard University  

Leung Mau Victor HO, Journalist, Canada

Maarten C. Hoff, Ph.D in History, Chairman, Oud CliŽnten Contact 45 Foundation, Netherlands

Judith L. Holmes, Lecturer, Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Christian Hougen, Senior Evaluator/International Affairs Analyst, General Accounting Office of USA  

Ling Huang, Ph. D. Candidate, Economics, University of California, Berkeley

Tin-Kan Hung, Professor, Civil and Enronmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Hiromitsu Inokuchi, Associate Professor, Sociology of Communication, University of East Asia, Japan

Mildred M. Jeffrey, Governor Emeritus, Wayne State University

Ellen R. Judd, Professor and Chair, Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Canada

John Junkerman, Independent Film Director, Tokyo

Elizabeth Karpinski, Student, Columbia University Law School

Donald W. Katzner, Professor, Economics, University of Massachusetts

James Keefer, Lecturer, History, Camosun College

Eleanor Kerkham, Associate Professor, Asian and East European Languages and Cultures, University of Maryland

Lili M. Kim, Five College Fellow, Social Science, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

Albert I. King,  Distinguished Professor and Director, Bioengineering Center, Wayne State University

Francis G. King, Ph.D., Manager, Ford Motor Co., Michigan

Lorinda Robertson Kiyama, Assistant Professor, Japanese Literature and English, Shokei College, Japan

Lucy King, Professor, Engineering, Kettering University, Michigan

Jenny Wai Ching Kwan, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Government of British Columbia, Canada

Julia Kwong, Professor, Sociology, University of Manitoba

Liisa Laakso, Docent, Political Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

Ian V. Lau, Ph.D., Manager, General Motors Corporation, Michigan

Chuan-pu Lee, Distinguished Professor, Biochemistry, Wayne State University, Michigan

Ivy Lee, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, California State University, Sacramento

David D. Li,  Associate Professor, Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Peter Li, Associate Professor, Asian Languages & Cultures, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

E.W. Lindeijer, Ph. d, Msc, Bsc, Civil Engineer, Writer, The Netherlands

Xinsheng Ling, Assistant Professor, Physics, Brown University, Rhode Island  

Jun Liu, Professor, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins Medical School

Liyan Liu, Ph. D. candidate, History, Ohio State University

Lydia Liu, Associate Professor, Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley

Ron Loftus, Professor, Japanese and Chinese, Willamette University, Oregon

Dan Lusthaus, Professor of Religion, University of Georgia

Robin Madrid, Ph.D, Anthropology, American University, Washington. D.C.

Maryann Mahaffey, President Pro Temp, City Council of Detroit

Virginia Marcus, Senior Lecturer, Japanese, Washington University

Kathleen Woods Masalski, Outreach Director, Five College Center for East Asian Studies, Massachusetts

Susan Matisoff, Professor and Chair, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley

Kiyoko Matsuno, Professor, Art, Kyoto Seika University, Japan

Bob McBarton, American Express TRS, Antioch, California

Brian J. McVeigh, Associate Professor, Humanities, Toyo Gakuen University, Japan

Jonathan Mirsky, Journalist, London

James H. Mittelman, Professor, School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C.

Michael Molasky, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Connecticut College  

Joe B. Moore, Associate Professor, Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Takamitsu Muraoka, Professor, Oriental languages and cultures, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Christopher T. Nelson, Graduate student, Anthropology, University of Chicago  

John Nelson, Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco

Beth Notar, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College, Connecticut 

Yoshiko Nozaki, Lecturer, Educational Policy Studies, Massey University, New Zealand

Gail Omvedt, Author and Environmental Activist, Kasegaon, India

Masahide Ota, President, Ota Peace Research Institute and Former Governor, Okinawa

Zuohong Pan, Associate Professor of Economics, Western Connecticut State College  

John E. Philips, Senior Lecturer, Japanese, Washington University

Cyril Powles, Professor Emeritus, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada

Nicole L. Restrick, Associate Director, National Clearinghouse for US - Japan Studies

Cris Reyns-Chikuma, Assistant Professor, French and Comparative Literature, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania

Kenneth Richard, Professor, Comparative Culture and Japanese Literature, Siebold University of Nagasaki, Japan

Moss Roberts, Professor, Chinese, New York University

Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Laurel Rasplica Rodd, Professor, Japanese, University of Colorado

Thomas Rohlich, Professor, Japanese, Smith College, Massachusetts

Joshua H. Roth, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

Allison Rottman, Ph. D. Candidate, History, University of California, Berkeley  

John G. Russell, Professor, Region Studies, Gifu University, Japan

Marleigh Grayer Ryan, Professor Emeritus, Japanese, State University of New York, New Paltz

Deirdre Sabina Knight, Assistant Professr, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Smith College, Massachusetts

Lisa J. Sansoucy, Ph. D. Candidate, Government, Cornell University

Paul G. Schalow, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University, New Jersey 

David Schimmel, Professor, Education, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Rev. Walter Schoenherr, Bishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

Abigail Schweber, Research Associate, Centre for Asian Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia

Mariya Sevela, Associate researcher, Japan Research Center (EHESS, Paris), France

Hari P. Sharma, Professor Emeritus, Sociology, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Nick Sharman, Associate Professor, Economics, University of Melbourne, Australia

Ann Sherif, Associate Professor, East Asia Studies, Oberlin College, Ohio

June-Sang Siak, Ph.D., Manager, General Motors Corporation, Michigan

Robert J. Smith, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology and Asian Studies, Cornell University

Changqing Sun, Ph. D. Candidate, Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley

Jinghao Sun, Ph. D. Candidate, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, Canada

Nada Svob-Dokic, Scientific Advisor, Institute for International Relations, Zagreb, Croatia

Julia Tai, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry ,University of Michigan

Yuki Tanaka, Professor, International and Cultural Studies, Keiwa University, Japan

Peter Taylor, Professor, Geography, Loughborough University, U.K.

Richard Tanter, Professor of Environmental and Social Studies, Kyoto Seika University, Japan

Xiaoping Teng, Lecturer, Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College, Massachusetts

Istvan Teplan, Executive Vice President, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Yoko H. Thakur, Japanese Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools

Patricia M. Thornton, Coordinator for Teacher Development, University of Minnesota

Maia Tsurumi, Ph.D. Candidate, Biology, University of Victoria, Canada

Guangnan Tu, Senior Research Fellow, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

J. Marshall Unger, Professor, Japanese, and Chair, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University

Bonnie Wade, Professor, Music, University of California, Berkeley

Jing Wang, Professor and Chair, Asian and African Languages and Literatures and Director, Center for East Asian Cultural and Institutional Studies, Duke University, North Carolina

William E. Willmott, Professor Emeritus, Sociology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Yi Wu, Ph. D. candidate, Anthropology, Columbia University, New York

Gang Xiao, Professor, Physics, Brown University, Rhode Island  

Qiang Xiao, Associate Professor, Physics, University of Delaware

Benjamin Xu, ERB/NINDS, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Haiping Yan, Professor, Theatre and Comparative Literature, University of Colorado, Boulder

Yan Lixian, Vice-researcher, Institute of modern China, Chinese Academy of social science, China

Yunxiang Yan, Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of California at Los Angeles

King-Hay Yang, Assoc. Professor of Bioengineering, Wayne State University

Hajime Yasukawa, Associate Professor, Social Psychology, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Moshe Yegar, Research Fellow, Southeast Asian Studies, Harry S. Truman Institute of the Advancement of Peace, Jerusalem, Israel

Xiao-huang Yin, Chair and Associate Professor, American Studies, Occidental College, L.A.

Liqun Zhang, graduate student, Pennsylvania State University

Ming Zhou, Associate Professor of Technology, Indiana State University

Zehau Zhou, Assistant Professor, Information Literacy, York College of Pennsylvania  

Zhu Chengshan, Director, The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Nanjing, China

Zhu Ling, Deputy Director, Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China 

Guo Zijian, Post-doctoral student, Civil Engineering, Tokyo University, Japan


Who are eligible as nominators for Nobel Peace Prize

The following are entitled to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize:

  1. Present and past members of the Nobel Committee and the advisers at the Nobel Institute.
  2. Members of national assemblies and governments, and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  3. Members of the International Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice at the Hague.
  4. Members of the Commission of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.
  5. Members of the Institut de Droit International.
  6. Present university professors of law, political science, history and philosophy.
  7. Holders of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Support Statements of Nominators and Supporters

The Honorable David Anderson, P.C., Minister of Environment for Canada

Linda Gail Arrigo, Ph.D. Sociology, Resident Director, Council for International Educational Exchange, Taipei Study Center, Taiwan

Congressman David Bonior, U.S.A.

John J. Clancey, Chairman, Asian Human Rights Commission

Libby Davies, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Basil Fernando, Executive Director, Asian Human Rights Commission

Norma Field, Professor and Chair, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Lillian Mellen Genser, Former Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Andrew Gordon, Professor of History and Director of Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

Rev. Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

Laura Hein, Dept. of History, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA

Congressman Michael Honda, U.S.A.

Teruhisa Horio, Professor of Education, Chuo University, Tokyo

Derek Lee, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Sophia Leung, C.M.,  Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Senator Carl Levin, U.S.A.

Richard H. Minear, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Dr. Takaniitsu Muraoka,  Full Professor of Hebrew, Ugaritic and Israelite Antiquities, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Joe Peschisolido, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Svend Robinson, Member of the House of Commons, Canada

Dr. Felix J. Rogers, President of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation

Mark Selden, Professor of History & Sociology, State University of New York, Binghamton

Vancouver Sun, March 7, 2001 - Persistence of memory by John Price

John Price:
Persistence of memory

Saburo Ienaga insists Japan remember an unsavoury war to ensure dreams of peace

John Price Vancouver Sun


World-renowned scholar and critic Noam Chomsky has nominated him for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

So has the Asian Human Rights Commission.

Also in on the nomination is United States Senator Carl Levin, who has been joined by unlikely ally, Lee Peng Fei, deputy to the National People's Congress in China.

Members of the European Parliament, including the chair of its human rights committee, Graham Watson, are also on the nominators' list.

Takako Doi, leader of Japan's Social Democratic party has stepped forward in the same cause, as have more than 100 others in Japan.

In Canada, New Democratic Party, Liberal and Canadian Alliance MPs Svend Robinson, Libby Davies, David Anderson, Stephen Owen, Sophia Leung, Joe Peschisolido, Stan Dromisky and Derek Lee have joined forces behind the nomination.

So -- who is Saburo Ienaga and why are so many people lining up behind his nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize?

At first glance, the slight, 88-year-old, bespectacled historian doesn't seem to fit the profile of peacenik or freedom fighter.

But he is, and has been for over 50 years. Every since the end of the war in Japan, Ienaga has fought to make sure that the truth about Japanese imperial aggression in Asia was told to future generations in Japan and around the world.

A professor of history at Tokyo University of Education, Ienaga wrote dozens of histories, many related to the Asia-Pacific war that lasted from 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria, until 1945.

A professional historian, Ienaga's scholarship covers a vast array of topics, but his works on the war, including Taiheiy Sens (The Pacific War) and Sens Sekinin (War Responsibility) stand out as serious reflections on the causes and effects of war.

But his frank assessments of aggression ran into roadblocks from the Japanese government and education ministry which, through the textbook editing process, tried to water down Japan's war of aggression and atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing.

For example, a ministry textbook reviewer told him in 1963 that his book on the war was "too gloomy on the whole," citing illustrations in his book that depicted air raid destruction, the effects of the atomic bomb and showed disabled veterans begging for money.

Ienaga sued the ministry for censorship and at the trial the government brief pointed to his study on atrocities by Japanese troops as being "excessively critical of Japan's positions and actions in the Second World War."

Three lawsuits and 32 years later, Ienaga finally won a partial victory in 1997 when Japan's Supreme Court ruled 3-2 in his favour, declaring the ministry of education had acted illegally when it removed passages from his book that described the Japanese Imperial Army's use of biological warfare against 3,000 people in northern China.

In the 1970s, Japanese neo-nationalists (who consider Japan's war in Asia as just) issued death threats against Ienaga and surrounded his house day and night, shouting slogans and banging pots and pans. Such threats and intimidation are no joke -- just ask Hitoshi Motojima, mayor of Nagasaki for 15 years. He was harassed for years because he dared to say he thought the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito, was partially responsible for Japan's war of aggression.

On Jan. 18, 1990, a year after Hirohito died, a right-wing extremist shot Motojima in the back. The bullets pierced his lungs and he nearly bled to death in a car waiting for help.

Ienaga is not alone in his efforts. For years, scholars such as Akira Fujiwara, Kiyoshi Inoue and Goro Hani have written and taught about Japanese responsibility in the war.

And hundreds of non-governmental organizations have come forward to support elderly victims of Japan's war crimes, including the so-called "comfort women" who were forced to become sex slaves to Japanese troops.

Japanese feminist and veteran journalist, Yayori Matsui, has spearheaded a worldwide movement to make the perpetrators of rape during war accountable for their crimes.

Ienaga's struggle may seem distant but his efforts are pertinent to Canadians today. For example, Ienaga has struggled to have the truth told about the crimes of Unit 731, the Imperial army group that perpetrated biological warfare, mainly in China. Yet the U.S. government offered immunity to Japan's doctors of death after the war in exchange for the information compiled by Unit 731.

The Canadian government was complicit in this coverup in two ways. Canada appointed Justice E. Stuart McDougall to the Tokyo tribunal that failed to indict any of the perpetrators of biological warfare.

And, as Steven Endicott and Edward Hagerman have shown in their recent work, The United States and Biological Warfare, the Canadian government also used the information obtained from Unit 731 for its own program of biological warfare, developed at the Suffield Experimental Station in Alberta after the war.

Learning from Ienaga's example requires that we eschew the triumphalism of victors in war and examine our own conduct. This is more pertinent today than ever before because of our increasingly close ties to the U.S., a country that has largely appropriated victory in the Asia-Pacific war unto itself.

Even in the U.S., however, Ienaga's influence is profound. For example, in his recent Pulitzer prize-winning book, Embracing Defeat, U.S. historian John Dower has challenged his own country's role in Japan after the war:

"One of the most pernicious aspects of the [American] occupation [of Japan] was that the Asian peoples who had suffered most from imperial Japan's depredations -- the Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, and Filipino -- had no serious role, no influential presence at all in the defeated land. They became invisible. Asian contributions to defeating the emperor's soldiers and sailors were displaced by an all-consuming focus on the American victory in the Pacific War."

We would do well to remember this as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor this December, an event for which Hollywood is already gearing up with a new blockbuster starring Cuba Goodings Jr.

To confront the past is not always easy. As Ienaga wrote in his conclusion to The Pacific War: "The public only wants to forget the unpleasant experience, but collective amnesia will also erase the costly lessons of the war."

Whether Ienaga wins the Nobel or not, his work stands as a beacon on the path to make sure that not only we but also our children will continue to say, "Never again."

John Price teaches Japanese history at the University of Victoria and is on the board of the Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network.

Globe and Mail, March 8, 2001

Globe and Mail, August 30, 1997

By Catherine Bergman, special to The Globe and Mail with Reuters News Agency

Headline: Texts illegally censored, Japan court rules

Government’s right to screen, delete schoolbook references to wartime atrocities upheld


TOKYO    Japan's Supreme Court broke historic ground yesterday, recognizing for the first time that the country's education officials had acted unlawfully in censoring parts of history textbooks for high-school stu≠dents.

 It was the final chapter of an epic 32- year legal battle that pitted 83-year-old historian Saburo Ienaga against the country's department of education over the issue of what Japanese chil≠dren should be taught about the Sec≠ond World War.

 The court agreed with Mr. Ienaga's contention that young Japanese should be told about the Japanese Army's infamous Unit 731, which conducted biological-warfare experiments on war prisoners in Manchuria.

 “While 'Unit 731' has not been revealed in its entirety, the existence of such a unit within the Japanese impe≠rial Army with the purpose of conduct≠ing germ warfare, and that the unit conducted live experiments on many Chinese and others, was accepted by the academia at the time,” the court's ruling said.

 “Hence it was unlawful [for the edu≠cation ministry] to order the deletion of the passage from the textbook.”

 Presiding judge Masao Ono ordered the government to pay Mr. lenaga a token amount, 400.000 yen ($4,676) In compensation.

 However, it was a hollow victory for the frail professor.

The court upheld the education min≠istry's right to continue screening all textbooks and remove anything objectionable, including references to wartime atrocities, and it rejected the seven remaining claims made by Mr. Ienaga, including passages describing the Battle of Okinawa and the Nanjing Massacre, in which as many as 300,000 Chinese were massacred in Nanjing In 1937-38.

As a result, high-school students still will not be taught that.  “Japanese soldiers violated Chinese women dur≠ing the Nanjing massacre” because, as censors have commented, “it is com≠mon throughout the world for troops to rape women.”

 Textbooks also will remain silent on the subject of Korean revolts against the Imperial Army during Japan's oc≠cupation of Korea. Critics note that such references would lead children to conclude that Japan was once a colonial power. 

Even Mr. Ienaga's success at expos≠ing Unit 731 came a little late. Over the three decades that his case wound through the court system, victims and witnesses of Unit 731 came forward, guilt-ridden soldiers spoke from their death beds and scholarly research was published, with the result that several of Japan's newer high-school textbooks have already mentioned the existence of Unit 731 without incurring the wrath of education officials.

Still, yesterday’s decision was hailed as a victory by Mr. Ienaga and his supporters because, for the first time, the education department censors got a slap on the wrist.

“It is significant that the court has now accepted the government's screening was illegal in some respects,” Mr. Ienaga told reporters. “This is a very important development.”

“Bureaucrats claim they are always right,” said Yutaka Saito, one of the 40 lawyers who had been working on the case. “Today's decision weakens the credibility of the screening process.”

The historian started his battle in 1965, when the education ministry ordered him to revise numerous passages in his New History of Japan because they showed some Japanese actions during the Second World War in an unfavourable light.

Mr. Ienaga argued that government censorship of school textbooks was unconstitutional, distorted history and whitewashed Japanese war crimes.

For many Japanese, however, the issues behind the censorship remain immensely sensitive, and security was high around the Supreme Court building in the centre of Tokyo yesterday afternoon.

“Ienaga, you are a puppet of the Chinese,” Japanese nationalists blared from loudspeakers, as their black trucks, wrapped in flags, slowly circled the courthouse.

“The Nanjing massacre did not happen,” read a wide banner across the avenue.

Meanwhile, more than 600 Ienaga supporters and peace activists were standing at attention, waiting for the judgment. They included teachers, union organizers, academics and people such as Naoko Ishioroshi, who identified herself as “an ordinary person.”

Ms. Ishioroshi, 65, grew up during the war. “We were robots, we were taught not to think. We should never again allow our children to become robots for the government. We should never again go to war.” 


Vancouver Sun,  August 30, 1997

Associated Press

Headline: Japanese historian wins war battle

Sub-headline: The Supreme Court has ruled the government broke the law in removing mention of an atrocity from his textbook.

TOKYO - Smiling and bowing deeply, an 83-year-old historian acknowledged his victory Friday in a court battle that's taken three decades to compel Japan to tell schoolchildren the full story of the country's actions in the Second World War.

For the first time, the Supreme Court limited Japan's power to rewrite history - ruling Friday that the education Ministry broke the law in removing m mention of a Japanese atrocity from histor≠ian Saburo Ienaga's high school textbook.

Moments after the ruling, dozens stood in the packed courtroom to ap≠plaud Ienaga, who rose to thank them.

"Today's ruling was not a complete victory," he said later at a news confer≠ence.

"But one more case of screening has been judged illegal.

"I see positive light there," said Ien≠aga, who's sometimes required police protection from right-wing thugs who believe he disgraces Japan and its old Imperial Army.

Right-wing activists outside the court denounced Ienaga through loudspeak≠ers, waving flags.

The justices ruled 3-2 Friday that the education ministry acted illegally in 1980 and 1983 when it removed from a textbook that Ienaga was writing a de≠scription of Japan's biological experi≠ments on 3,000 people in northern Chi≠na during the war.

Victims were injected with diseases such as typhoid, or dissected without anesthesia and allowed to die without treatment. The disputed section has since been restored to Ienaga's textbook.

However, the Supreme Court jus≠tices dismissed or rejected claims by Ienaga that seven other portions of his book were illegally censored, includ≠ing one about Japanese soldiers rap≠ing Chinese women during the war.

Friday's decision marked the first time Japan's highest court had declared there's a limit to the ministry's power to screen and censor textbooks. The court ordered the ministry to pay Ienaga the equivalent of about $4,700 Cdn in dam≠ages.


News Release - September 2, 1997

Six Ethnic Communities respond to Japanese Supreme Court Ruling

Vancouver, September 2, 1997....Six ethnic communities representing more than 10,000 Canadians who signed letters in support of Professor Saburo Ienaga's lawsuit against the Japanese Education Ministry for censoring accounts of WWII atrocities in Japanese history textbooks are greatly encouraged by the Japanese Supreme Court ruling of August 29, 1997.

In one of his textbooks Professor Ienaga had referred to the Japanese Imperial Army germ warfare group, Unit 731, which conducted atrocious biological experiments on 3,000 people in northern China during WWII. Subjects were operated on without anaesthetics, injected with diseases and left to die without treatment. But this reference to historical events was removed on the order of the Japanese Education Ministry.


Following a 32 year battle Japan's Supreme Court sided with Professor Ienaga, ruling that the government acted illegally when it removed reference to biological warfare experiments from a proposed history textbook.


"We commend Professor Ienaga for his unflinching determination to fight long and deep seated intransigence by the Japanese government in acknowledging Japan's crimes against humanity during WWII," stated Ms. Thekla Lit, co-chair of ALPHA Canada. "The Japanese government has repeatedly attempted to cover up WWII atrocities through its textbook screening system, censoring or tampering with historical facts in textbooks which keeps generations of Japanese from learning the lessons from history to prevent recurrence of similar tragedies."


"The strong support from international groups, including our organizations which represent 6 ethnic communities, is appreciated by truth seeking forces in Japan. But there is much work still to be done," stated Mr. Erwin Nest of Canadian Jewish Congress. "The landmark court ruling finally gives due justice to an honest and truth seeking Japanese scholar but Professor Ienaga's victory is by no means total. The Japan Supreme Court's ruling only narrowly applies to the Professor's specific account on the Unit 731 atrocities in the history textbook. It fell short of declaring the act of screening textbooks unconstitutional."


The Japanese government will still have the power to distort historical facts. To date, Japan has repeatedly refused to offer official apologies and compensations to her war victims, including victims of the Nanking Massacre, military sexual slavery (so called comfort women), forced slavery, Bataan Death March and other atrocities.


"Until these war crimes are addressed and redressed, peace loving people the world over must work with their counterparts in Japan to bring the Japanese government face to face with history." Mr. Enomoto, president of National Association of Japanese Canadians affirmed.



List of six participating agencies:

Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia  

National Association of Japanese Canadians, Human Rights Committee

Philippine War Veterans & Ex-Servicemen Society of BC

Korean Women's Association of Western Canada

August 15, 1945 Foundation

Canadian Jewish Congress


12 September 2000

The Falsification of History Under the Guise of 'Self-Censorship' Has Been Forced onto Textbook Publishers

Committee for Truth and Freedom in Textbooks
Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21
Advisory Committee For Discussing Social Studies Textbook Problems
Liaison Committee for the Japan Textbook Publishers Union
Committee for Monitoring Historical Truth

We Will Not Tolerate the Actions of the Government and the Ministry of Education

At present, screening of junior high school history textbooks under the auspices of the new education curriculum that will come into effect in April 2002 is already underway. With respect to those textbooks in the fields of society and history (henceforth referred to as history textbooks), a deeply worrying situation has arisen. The problems surrounding the history and civic education textbooks produced by the Japan Society for History Textbook Reform (The Society) go without saying, but even out of the 7 companies publishing history textbooks, the content of many of their Plain Cover Draft Editions (to be submitted for screening by the Ministry of Education) concerning modern Japanese history has regressed, and it is clear that many of those draft texts resemble those of twenty years ago.

In the Outline of Guidelines for the New Education Curriculum which was itself designed to address the advent of a 5 day week for all schools, the amount of time allotted to history has decreased, consequently textbooks have become smaller too. However this does not adequately explain the reduction in content outlined below.

New Junior High School History Textbooks

Here are some specific examples:
1. References to 'Comfort Women' have disappeared from 4 out of 7 companies' product (if we include The Society's textbooks, it would bring it to 5 out of 8 companies). Furthermore, even in those companies who have retained references to 'Comfort Women', only 2 of them place those references in the '15 Year Japan-China War, Asia-Pacific War' section; the remaining company only refers to 'Comfort Women' in the 'Postwar Compensation' section. In addition, only 1 company actually uses the term 'Comfort Women' (ianfu), while the other 2 refer to 'comfort stations' (ian shisetsu). Incidentally, the 4 companies that removed 'Comfort Women' references currently dominate 80% of the market.

2. References to the Nanjing Massacre (Nanjing Incident) have also been considerably rolled back. Firstly, out of 4 companies that used the term 'Nanjing Massacre', 2 have switched to the term 'Nanjing Incident', Three of those companies formerly used the term 'massacre' in the text, but all of them now refer to 'murder' (satsugai) or 'killing' (koroshita). Furthermore, while at present 6 companies refer to the numbers killed, only 2 will continue to do so, while the others will replace numbers with phrases such as 'large numbers (were killed'), 'many (were killed'), 'a lot (were killed') (one even obligingly provides a qualifying footnote explaining that there is no agreement on the number of casualties).

3. On the Three-All Policy (Kill All, Loot All, Burn All), although 5 companies used to refer to it, only 1 will continue to do so in future, moreover the 1 company that referred to Unit 731 will no longer do so.

4. References to the Battle of Okinawa have also regressed. From two pages to one, from ten lines to two and a half without its own sub-heading, from seven lines to five, from seven lines to four etc, with altogether 4 companies reducing the space allocated to this topic. In addition, 2 companies have omitted references to the number of civilians killed by the Japanese army and to 'group suicides'.

5. There are deliberate revisions of terminology, such as 'advance' (shinshitsu) instead of 'invasion'.

6. The reality of colonial domination is treated in vague terms, and references to aggression in Asia are greatly reduced.

All of the above substantively represent an attack on so-called 'masochistic history' by an array of forces including LDP parliamentarians and The Society, who seek to falsify history. And yet both the Japanese government and international opinion acknowledge 'Comfort Women' and the Nanjing Incident. We must not forget that Japan has already been severely criticized by Asian nations and their peoples for denying Japan's aggressive war and war crimes. Also, the Battle of Okinawa is a vital educational component essential to acknowledging the contemporary problems of Okinawa. There is no reason to revise, omit or reduce those references in textbooks.

We are convinced that clearly conveying this history in textbooks and teaching it in schools will yield a correct consciousness of history and of war, and that this is essential to the fostering of custodians of a peaceful 21st century. It is also vital to promote coexistence with Asia. It is clear that the deterioration of textbooks outlined above will attract criticism not only from within Japan, but from Asia and the international community.

Why Are Textbooks Deteriorating?

Why has this deterioration in textbook content occurred? Each publisher has submitted their drafts for screening, and on the surface it looks like 'self-censorship'. However, we believe that for the following reasons, it is not simply a case of 'self-censorship' but rather 'self-censorship' as a result of powerful pressure from the Government and the Ministry of Education.

In June 1998, the then Minister for Education Machimura Nobutaka, responded to questions in the Diet by stating that 'the sections on modern and contemporary history in history textbooks have "changed". We are examining whether corrections can be made before they are submitted for screening'. In response, from January 1999 the senior bureaucrats of the Ministry of Education asked the managers of textbook companies to 'make the content (of textbooks) more balanced' and to 'rethink the line-up of authors'. In reacting to this initial stage of pressure, it is thought that the textbook publishers did not want to omit the content related to 'Comfort Women' or to alter the material on the Nanjing Massacre/Incident or the Three-All Policy. This can be appraised through examining the content of textbook manuscripts prior to the production of Plain Cover Draft Editions. In effect, the content of these manuscripts was largely unchanged from that in existing texts (this is what we could glean from the product of 2 companies concerned). Therefore, we can assume that the content of those manuscripts was altered before they were submitted to the Ministry in the form of a draft text. At around December 1999, the Presidents of companies publishing textbooks in Social Studies for junior high schools were contacted by sources in the Prime Minister's office and told the following:- 'we have been reliably informed that you have been asked to deal with the sections on 'Comfort Women' (this was confirmed by one company President). Upon encountering this political pressure, each company decided to practice 'self-censorship' before proceeding with the production of draft texts. One particular company's editor visited each author individually to seek the authors' cooperation regarding the company's new policy of reducing references to 'Comfort Women' and deleting footnotes concerning the Nanjing Massacre. Furthermore, in response to a query from an author along the lines of 'what has happened?', one editor replied 'it's the voice of heaven'.

We can contemplate three reasons why the 7 companies engaged in self-censorship on this occasion.

1. The effect of attacks from the Right, such as The Society

2. The influence on the choice of textbooks of the Broad Option System

3. Pressure from Government, the Ministry of Education and politicians

Of course, while we cannot ignore reasons 1 and 2 above, it is No. 3 that is decisive. In other words, the current 'self-censorship' is not the spontaneous will of textbook companies, but rather the result of being forced to do so by the application of political pressure by the Government and the Ministry of Education.

We Need Debate on a Grand Scale to Protect the Achievements of the Popular Movement

From the mid-1980s, the contents of Japan's history textbooks improved.  At last in the 1990s, the reality of colonial rule, the truth about aggressive war, 'Comfort Women', the Nanjing Massacre, Unit 731, aggression and war crimes such as forced recruitment, massacres and aggression against the citizens of South-East Asia, and the truth about the Battle of Okinawa, were all included in textbooks.

Finally, it was possible for children to garner a correct historical consciousness through examining war from the perspective of aggressors and victims, complicity and resistance. This is the fruit of the Japanese people's movement that began with international criticism emanating from Asian countries, and the 32 year battle of the Ienaga Textbook Lawsuits. We can't sit back and watch while Right wing pressureand political interference from the Government negates the
fruits of such a prolonged struggle.

In particular, regarding 'Comfort Women.' in response to the United Nations Human Rights Sub-Committee Coomaraswamy Report's recommendation that 'the truth about "Comfort Women" be taught in schools', the Japanese Government told the Sub-Committee that 'Comfort Women are discussed in history textbooks'. The present situation whereby text is omitted due to political interference amounts to blatant violation of an international commitment. The Japanese Government, which only gives lip-service to expressing regret for the war, is interfering politically in the content of history textbooks and through measures such as 'self-censorship', is gradually deleting historical facts from history textbooks. This should be criticized internationally, and must not be tolerated.

Contact Details:

Mr Yoshifumi Tawara
Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21
Komiyama Building 201
2-6-1 Iidabashi
Tokyo 102-0072

Tel: 81 - 3 - 3265 7606
Fax: 81-3-3239 8590
Email: [email protected]
TAWARA Yoshifumi
E-mail: [email protected]
Kodomo to kyoukasho zenkoku netto 21
E-mail: [email protected]

Asian Human Rights Commission
[email protected]