Go to contents

Japan mulls sending high-ranking official to Takeshima Day

Japan mulls sending high-ranking official to Takeshima Day

Posted February. 18, 2013 05:23,   


The Japanese government is considering sending an assistant deputy minister–level official to a “Takeshima Day” event this coming Friday. Takeshima is the Japanese name for Korea`s easternmost islet of Dokdo, which Japan claims as its territory. Though lawmakers had attended the event, but Japan hasn`t sent a high-ranking official.

According to the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun on Saturday, the Japanese government is mulling over sending Aiko Shimajiri, parliamentary secretary of the Office of the Cabinet and a member of the House of Councilors, to the ceremony.

The report said Shimane Prefecture invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the event, but the Japanese government judged that sending a deputy ministerial assistant would be better than sending a ministerial-level official or the prime minister because the inauguration of Korea’s new president will take place on Feb. 25, three days after Takeshima Day.

Takeshima Day was first celebrated in February 2006, when no lawmakers attended. The second event, however, was attended by four Diet members. Last year, 13 parliamentarians went there, including two lawmakers of the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan, meaning the political meaning of the day has grown.

This year’s celebration will see high-ranking officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, including Shinjiro Koizumi, director of the party`s youth division and the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and acting Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda attend.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, another major Japanese daily, said a commission aimed to improve education under the prime minister`s supervision decided Friday to request that the Japanese government add an ethics class to the official curriculum for "character building." The Japanese Education Ministry will examine the request after receiving the report.

The daily said teachers’ unions and other education groups will likely raise objections to the plan, saying, "The government attempts to “inculcate nationalism” into students “through moral education” or revive a class used to cultivate loyalty to the emperor before World War II.