Rift deepens

Michael Fitzpatrick

JAPAN: The Japanese government is heading for a major diplomatic rift with South Korea. Last week, it declined to make major revisions demanded by Korea and China to a controversial junior high school history textbook. Critics say it whitewashes Tokyo's wartime atrocities and Japanese historians have pointed out 25 major inaccuracies.

Now South Korea has frozen all military and educational exchanges and dropped plans to ease the restriction on Japanese cultural imports such as music and films, even though it is due to co-host the finals of the World Cup football competition with Japan next year.

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Michael Fitzpatrick

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