Basic Books and Japan's Kashiwashobo publishing house have agreed to end their contract for a Japanese edition of Iris Chang's bestseller The Rape of Nanking after disagreements over the book's translation (News, March 22).

Basic publisher John Donatich said special care had been taken in negotiating the contract to protect the integrity of the book and take into account Chang's concerns, but although she and the publisher had worked closely together for several months, "ultimately they did not reach agreement on several substantive issues."

The Japanese actions in the Chinese city in 1937 have long been a bone of contention between the nations, with some Japanese insisting that accounts of atrocities have been exaggerated.

Donatich said the book deserved publication in Japan, and Basic would seek another Japanese publisher.