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``We Hate Those Who Made Distorted Textbook``

Posted August. 06, 2001 09:55,   


The young reporters of Korea and Japan sat side by side at the Donga Ilbo building on 4th in order to interview each other regarding the distortion of Japanese history textbook.

Two reporters, who met with each other on the 10th floor lounge of the Donga Ilbo building at Sejong-Ro, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, are Yanada Sakurako (12), a sixth grade student of the Daita Elementary school in Setakaya Region, and Kang Ji-Hye (12), a fifth grade student of the Eunpyong Elementary school in Seoul.

``If there have been active exchanges between the students of both countries and have known each other well, the distortion of history textbook would not take place.``

The meeting of two young reporters could be achieved since Yanada, the reporter of Tokyo branch of the `Children`s Express`, requested the Kids Donga Ilbo to interview one of the Korean young reporters. `The Children`s Express` is an internationally renowned news agency. Kang is the reporter of the Kids Donga Ilbo.

The interview was held for about 50 minutes. Because the history textbook distortion was an intricate issue for the elementary students to deal with, both felt awkward at first. Each gave short response to the other`s question or read the prepared answers.

However, as Kang showed the note containing the photos and the essays of the regions to which she visited during her trip to Japan, the uncomfortable atmosphere loosened up. Since two reporters recovered the affinity unique to children, they earnestly exchanged the questions and the answers.

Kang told that ``if Japan revises the distorted history textbook and makes a new textbook based on the real facts, the Koreans` bad feeling toward the Japanese will greatly dissipate.``

In response to this, Yanada said that ``it is bad to study with the distorted textbook. A small number of historians made the distorted textbook and most Japanese oppose to it or think that it is very odd.``

Two young reporters agreed that it was regrettable that the short-term academic exchange programs, the school excursions, and the research and study tours between both countries have been cancelled due to the conflict on the textbook issue.

As two children exchanged the Taekwondo badges and pens, the interview was finished. They visited the newspaper museum of the Donga Ilbo and the Independence Park in Seodaemun, holding each other`s hands.

Yanada visited Korea on 3rd with her father who was formerly a secretary of the Japanese foreign minister Kono Yohei. She had interviewed Lee Joo-Heum, a policy advisor of the Korean Embassy in Japan in order to probe Koreans` response to the history textbook issue, which was publicized in the Asahi Shimbun on June 18th.

Min Dong-Yong mindy@donga.com