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Effect of Countermeasures on Japan’s History Distortion Questionable

Effect of Countermeasures on Japan’s History Distortion Questionable

Posted March. 22, 2005 22:09,   


The Korean government has decided not to demand that Japan revise clauses that distort history in Japan’s newly proposed history book that the Japanese government is scheduled to review and announce a decision on April 5. Instead, the government has decided to issue a protest to the Japanese government and concentrate on lowering the adoption rate of the history-distorting textbook by Japanese schools.

Yesterday, a government authority said, “The government requested the Japanese government make revisions on 35 items in the textbook distortion of 2001, but to no avail. Relevant ministries and offices agreed to raise an issue on the general framework rather than on details.”

It was reported that the government reported such policy at the “Countermeasures Committee for Dokdo Protection and Against Japanese History Book Distortion” of the National Assembly on March 21.

Accordingly, the government plans to make a statement containing the Korean government’s opinions right after the Japanese government announces the sanction result. It also plans to take actions to check the adoption of the distorted textbook by actively utilizing Korea-Japan friendly organizations and settlement corporations.

Furthermore, the government decided to actively cooperate with private organizations to correct distortions. For example, it will financially support local NGOs including the “Network for Asia`s Peace and History Education” and “Korea-Japan Network 21,” and continue joint history studies between Korea and Japan.

As the government opened such countermeasures in advance, however, some point out that there is a possibility that the Japanese government might not sift through the contents of the distorted history book well enough in its review process. The efficacy of the government measures is also questionable as most of them make use of private organizations.

To such concerns, a government authority answered, “The Japanese government already knows what our government is making issues of even without having to tell them verbatim. Taking a broad approach, for example, urging for Japan’s sensibility, is more effective in leading the Japanese government to take correction measures by itself.”

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com