Okinawa furious at Japan's war suicide revision





Lawmakers from Japan's southern island of Okinawa, site of one of World War Two's bloodiest battles, blasted a government decision to tone down textbook accounts of soldiers ordering civilians to commit suicide.

Friday's resolution urging the government to scrap the textbook revision comes a day before the anniversary of the end of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, a "Typhoon of Steel" that left some 200,000 dead -- soldiers, civilians, Japanese and Americans.

Many Okinawan civilians, often entire families, committed suicide rather than surrender to Americans, by some eyewitness accounts on the orders of fanatical Japanese soldiers.

Some conservative Japanese historians -- also eager to revise descriptions of wartime atrocities in China and other parts of Asia -- have called into question the eyewitness accounts, arguing the suicides were voluntary.



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