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Japan's latest textbooks criticized by China

China's official news agency Sunday criticized Japan's newly revised school textbooks, saying they still distort or ignore the Japanese Army's wartime atrocities in China.

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Japan's first revision of the textbooks in 1982 provoked outrage in China and other countries occupied by the Japanese before and during World War II. Critics claimed the changes played down Japanese brutality and in some cases justified Japan's military strategy to conquer Asia.

In Tokyo, the Kyodo news agency said Japan has briefed both China and South Korea on the revised textbooks. Kyodo said that references to the notorious defunct Japanese wartime ''Ishii'' unit and its biological warfare in China had been deleted because historians were in the process of gathering more data.

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