Historians in Japan and China Vow to Resist Revisionist Efforts

In Asia, Holding the Scholarly Line on History 1

Keystone-France, Getty Images

Japanese troops enter Nanjing, China, in 1938. The slaughter of civilians in 1937-38 is still not mentioned in detail in Japanese history textbooks.

Shin Kawashima recalls his heart sinking with the election of Shinzo Abe as Japanese prime minister last December. A specialist in Asian diplomatic history at the University of Tokyo, Mr. Kawashima, an associate professor, has spent years trying to narrow the gap between Japan's and China's strikingly different interpretations of wartime history. The election could undo much of this work, he fears. "If we think about what could happen over the next few years, it's frightening."