Review of school textbook screening must help understanding of history: Japan's Education Minister

Review of school textbook screening must help understanding of history: Japan's Education Minister

It is essential that textbooks children study accurately describe their country's territories and history.

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura has announced that the government plans to review its standards on textbook screenings and aims to implement new criteria beginning next fiscal year.

We regard it reasonable that the government has decided to require textbooks to mention its consensus views on historical and territorial issues, a key point of the review.

Japan's confrontations with China and South Korea over territorial and historical issues have escalated. Teaching Japan's stance accurately would help children correctly understand the nation's relationship with other countries. Such efforts are also important for the nation to foster people capable of disseminating the message of the legitimacy of the government's positions on such issues to the international community.

South Korea has unlawfully occupied the Takeshima islands, an inherent part of Japanese territory, and Tokyo has taken the stance that there is no territorial dispute with Beijing over the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan.

Japan also has frictions with South Korea over the so-called comfort women issue and South Koreans' rights to seek compensation from Japanese companies for what they claim was forced labour during wartime.

The Japanese and South Korean governments reached an accord on damage claims in 1965 that stipulates the issue "was resolved completely and finally." Thus, the issue of compensation for individual South Koreans has been settled already.

It is vital that such Japanese government stance will be expressed in textbooks.

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