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Anti-Japan protesters cut off fingers

SOUTHKOREA: Draped in national flags, 20 men each chopped off one of their fingers in protest against Japanese school textbooks which they say gloss over atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

The protesters shouted: "Rectify distorted history!" then severed their little fingers with straw cutters at the Independence Gate Park in Seoul. They said they would mail the severed fingers to the Japanese embassy.

They also threatened to disembowel themselves if Japan's premier, Junichiro Koizumi, did not apologise for visiting a shrine in Tokyo later to pay homage to Japan's 2.5 million war dead. South Korea, China and other Asian nations regard the Yasukuni shrine as a symbol of Japanese militarism. South Korea, a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945, objected to the visit. Full story

Jae-Suk Yoo

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