Go to contents

Japanese Education Minister Claims Dokdo Belongs to Japan

Japanese Education Minister Claims Dokdo Belongs to Japan

Posted March. 29, 2005 23:13,   


Japanese education minister Nariaki Nakayama said on March 29 that Dokdo Island and the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu or Diaoyutai Islands according to China) should be described as Japanese territory in “Teaching Methods,” which provides standards for writing textbooks, according to the Kyoto news agency.

Nakayama insisted that “the existing teaching methods do not cover what territories belong to Japan. The revised method should not fail to include that point,” in a meeting of the Council for Culture, Education, and Science held on the same day. In Japan, where only textbooks authorized by the Education Ministry are adopted for school education, “Teaching Methods” provide prescribed criteria for textbook publishing companies to follow.

The Kyoto news agency also reported that the minister’s remarks on sensitive issues could cause a sensation amid strong protest both in Korea and China, ahead of the completion of the textbook authorization process due next month. In regards to the territory that Russia and Japan have argued over, he asserted that “the old Soviet Union occupied the area illegally. Therefore, history textbooks should make it clear that it belongs to Japan.”

Nariaki Nakayama, a fifth-term senator, caused a stir last year when he said that “history textbooks say as if Japan did nothing but bad things all the time. We should abandon our ‘self-torturing’ perspective of history.”

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com