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Textbook Dispute in Asia Deepens

July 13, 2001|Associated Press

SEOUL — Angered by Japan's refusal to revise controversial history textbooks, South Korea on Thursday froze all military exchanges and canceled plans to open its market to Japanese cultural products such as animated cartoons and Nintendo games.

The move came amid rising anti-Japanese sentiment. Schoolchildren canceled vacation trips to Japan. On Thursday, activists threw eggs at the Japanese Consulate in the southern port city of Pusan. In a provincial town, farmers burned effigies of the Japanese emperor and prime minister.

"We had hoped to boost friendly relations between South Korea and Japan through the World Cup," Culture and Tourism Minister Kim Han Kil said of the 2002 soccer finals that the two nations will jointly hold. "But without the revision of the distorted textbooks, I'm afraid we will have to readjust such expectations."

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