Japan school board bows to outcry, drops curbs on anti-war comic
TOKYO (REUTERS) - A Japanese school board on Monday scrapped curbs on children's access to an iconic anti-war comic, following criticism from those who saw the move as part of a trend to whitewash the country's wartime misdeeds.
The furore over the bid to limit access to the late Keiji Nakazawa's "Barefoot Gen" manga has echoed worries about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative agenda to recast Japan's wartime history in less apologetic colours.
"The decision was to return to the situation before Dec 17, 2012," an official of Matsue City, in western Japan, said by telephone, referring to the date of a directive by the superintendent of the school board at the time.
The superintendent had instructed elementary and middle schools to take the manga off library shelves and not allow students to read it without a teacher's permission.