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Japan De Facto Rejects Textbook Revision

Posted July. 01, 2001 21:08,   


Tokyo Shimbun reported Saturday that the Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology decide not to accept the revisions of the middle school history textbooks demanded by the Korean government. The Japan’s Ministry of Education already reported this decision to the `Textbook Examination and Review Committee` and plans to notify it to the Korean government before three chief secretaries of the coalition parties visit Korea. Japan’s Education Ministry concluded that 30 out of 35 items do not have to be revised, including major issues like `military comfort women`, `Japan`s annexation of Korea` and the `Japan’s domination of Korea`.

The newspaper reported that although the Japan’s Ministry of Education anticipates strong protests from Korea, it decided not to accept the revisions demanded by the Korean government since the conclusion was made based on the thorough examination by the experts. The Japan’s Education Ministry concluded that the revision is necessary with regard to a few items, which are not major issues. Therefore, the Ministry plans to urge the publication companies to revise by itself or the Minister of Education Toyama Azuko will advise for the revision.

A few items that require revisions are not known yet. However, the Japanese government de facto rejected the revisions demanded by the Korean government by deciding not to revise the major items. The Japan’s `Nonpartisan Assemblypeople’s Group Concerning the History Textbooks`, formed by the nonpartisan assemblypeople, requested Friday the Minister Hukuda Yazuo to announce the Japanese government’s textbook examination result on the Korean government’s demand. As Minister Hukuda said that ``I will deliver the message as early as possible to the Education Ministry,`` it is anticipated that the result of the examination will be soon announced.

Meanwhile, a Tokyo University professor Huzioka Nobukazu, a core member of the Association to Make New History Textbooks and one of the writers of the history textbook, said that ``since the textbook has been on sale, we hear various opinions from people. If there are objective flaws, we will revise them independently before they are used in schools.`` However, he made clear that he does not intend to comply with the demands by the Korean government by saying that ``this has nothing to do with the demands for the revision from Korea and China as well as the disturbing activities in Japan.`` Therefore, it is anticipated that even if the revisions are made, they will be only the matter of miscalculation of the statistics or the misspell of year.

Shim Kyu-Sun ksshim@donga.com