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Japan Unveils History-Distorting Texts

Posted April. 22, 2006 03:14,   


Despite strong protests from Korea and China, Japanese attempts to adopt high school textbooks reflecting its maritime territorial ambitions are in full progress.

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology opened to the public high school freshmen textbooks, whose reviews were published on March 29, at the textbook research center in Tokyo as of April 20. This represents one official step towards the full adoption of the books.

Commentary and revisions released by the ministry did not conceal the Japanese government’s intention to give a false historical impression to young students.

The revised version said that Takeshima, the Japanese name for Dokdo islets, belongs to the country as opposed to the previous wordings of it being a disputed area. This suggests that Japan’s recent maritime survey efforts in the Korean Exclusive Economic Zone were a calculated move.

One modern history textbook, which had said “territorial issues exist over Takeshima,” described the area as a Japanese territory wrongfully occupied by Korea in the revision version.

Another political economic textbook was full of criticism of Korea for “laying claim to the islets of Japan’s Shimane Prefecture” in place of previous expressions like “Takeshima is an issue of dispute between Japan and Korea.” The Japanese ministry is planning to have exhibitions in many cities to open the books to the public until late July. Schools are expected to decide whether to use them by the end of August of this year and teach high school freshmen with them starting next year.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com