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Hirofumi Hayashi: Military forced Okinawa civilians to commit suicide, historian says

Historians in the News




Researchers of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa agree that the Japanese military "forced and steered" civilians in Okinawa to commit mass suicide during the only full-scale ground battle in Japan during World War II, an authority on modern Japanese history said Tuesday.

Hirofumi Hayashi, professor at Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, said he conveyed the view in a statement submitted to the Japanese government's textbook-screening panel, which is considering requests by publishers to reinstate references about the Japanese military's role in forcing civilians to commit mass suicide.

Hayashi said he responded to a request from the Textbook Authorization Council, which advises the education minister and had asked a number of researchers on the battle to file their opinions.
Opinions from researchers, including Hayashi, will be used in screening requests from six textbook publishers to reinstate references about the Japanese military's role in the mass suicide, government sources said.

In the statement to the panel, Hayashi said, "The question is not whether there was an order from the military but the process that resulted in driving Okinawa residents to commit mass suicide." The residents committed suicide "effectively under the military's order," he said.
Read entire article at Japan Today

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