Analysis of "Japanese Society of History Textbook Reform": Supporters and finances

Akahata's Sunday Edition of April 15 carried a story about what kind of an organization the "Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform" is, how it is financed, and by whom it is supported.

The Society is the editor of the history textbook praising Japan's war of aggression, which the government recently approved.

The Society was inaugurated in January 1999. It stated that "the present history textbooks describe as fact the propaganda of the former enemy countries," and that the Society is devoted to "completely remaking history education."

With Nishio Kanji, a scholar of German literature as its president, it has such rightist scholars and intellectuals as Fujio Nobukatsu, professor at Tokyo University and cartoonist Kobayashi Yoshinori as members.

These people have attacked other history textbooks which have references to military comfort women and the Rape of Nanking as "anti-Japanese and humiliating." They show hostility to the Japanese Constitution.

Nishio in the House of Councilors Constitution Research Council meeting in March 2000 testified that China and North Korea are threats to Japan and that the Japanese Constitution should be revised.


The Society is financially supported by members of business circles. About 40 percent of the Society's supporters as of July 31, 2000 are corporate executives of general contractor construction companies and other major corporations and major banks.

On the list are executive members of Kajima Corporation, Asahi Bank, Sumitomo Electric Industries, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Reportedly, following the inauguration, the Society distributed throughout the country free of charge hundreds of thousands of copies of a book by Nishio, the fixed price of which was 2,000 yen.

"The Society can't operate financially without the financial circles' donations," a member of the movement opposing the Society's textbook pointed out.


Liberal Democratic Party politicians patronize the Society. Over a hundred LDP members from the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors belong to a body supporting the Society. LDP local assembly members busy themselves with lobbying the Education and Science Ministry and prefectural education boards. Former House of Councilors member Koyama Takao, who was arrested for receiving bribe money in connection with the KSD corruption scandal, was an influential supporter of the Society.

Teachers and parents:

The Society has the aim of having more than 150,000 copies of the textbook (about 10 percent) being actually adopted by schools.

The struggle of teachers and parents against the use of the textbook will be to make schools throughout the country reject it. (end)