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Distorted History Textbook Now Available in Bookstores

Posted June. 23, 2005 06:04,   


The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology has decided to approve the sale of middle school textbooks in bookstores before their official authorization scheduled in late August.

Four years ago, when the rightist group “Association for New History Textbooks” attempted to sell Fusosha’s textbook containing the distorted history, the ministry requested it to stop, saying that it would likely undermine the impartialness of the textbook selection process.

The Fusosha Textbook Publishing Company stated that the ministry has informed that it found nothing wrong with the sales of already authorized textbooks during the selection period until the end of August. In this regard, Fusosha is planning to release those textbooks for sale as soon as possible and is also considering posting the contents of the textbook on its website.

An official of youth group of the Korean Resident Union in Japan (also known as Mindan) said, “If the textbook becomes available in the market earlier than the original schedule, the result will be obvious that the textbook sale would be a tool to advertise the textbook with the distorted history,” The member also added that since the deadline is approaching, there is a possibility that the rightist politicians supporting Fusosha and the “Association for New History Textbooks” may have pressured for it.

Four years ago, the ministry requested publishers not to sell the disputed textbooks, but Fusosha ignored the request and sold them in advance. As a result, despite a 0.039 percent selection rate of Fusosha textbook, the textbook had sales of 700,000 copies, ranking at the top of the bestselling book list due to its popularity in frequent press appearances.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com