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Japan to step up education on territorial claim

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government announced Tuesday it is revising official teaching manuals to emphasize Japan's territorial rights to islands which are also claimed by China and South Korea.

The Education Ministry says the decision was made to reflect the government's official view on the territorial claims. The revision affects ministry-issued teaching manuals for junior high and high school social studies classes, effective immediately.

The revision is seen as part of education reform by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's nationalist government to instil patriotism and nationalism.

"Naturally, we must teach our own territory accurately to our children," Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura told reporters.

Even though use of the manuals is not legally binding, the policy change affects contents of future textbooks that need to be screened by the government.

Ministry officials say the manuals currently in use do not mention the Japan-claimed East China Sea islands which are also claimed by China, and that the reference to the Japan-claimed islands held by South Korea in the Japan Sea is too soft. The textbooks and manuals already include Japan's territorial claim over the Russia-controlled northern islands.

With the revision, teachers are asked to mention that the islands are "integral territories of Japan." The islands are flashpoints in Japan's diplomatic relations with China and South Korea.

Separately, the Education Ministry earlier this month adopted a textbook screening policy that would require writers to reflect the government's official position on contentious issues in modern history to "balance out" references to Japan's wartime aggression, including the forced use of sex slaves for its troops and the Nanking massacre where an estimated 300,000 Chinese citizens were killed by Japanese troops.

As Japan steps up territorial claims under Abe's government, the Cabinet Secretariat recently launched a special web site designed to drum up domestic awareness and support over Japanese territorial claims.

January 28, 2014    j7fdd183@
Japan officials need to face up to the flagrant behaviors they did to other countries in WWII. The day when they condemn the invasion and say sorry for those who were forced to be the sex slaves, it could be possible to rebuild the friendly relationship to the adjacent countries.
January 29, 2014    taiwanindependencenow@
The chinks and the [...] should stop bullying the Great Nation of Japan. Both Senkaku Shoto and Takeshima are rightful territories of Japan, and both the chinks and the [...] should accept the very fact.

Japan should increase her military spending and launch a nuclear program to counter the threats of the chinks and the [...].
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A protester holds a poster of a defaced portrait of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese wartime flag to denounce Japan's sovereignty that claims over the disputed islets called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 28.

(AP)

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