Academics oppose rightist history textbook

Japan's 20 major societies of historians have launched an appeal calling on boards of education of the all municipalities to refrain from adopting the history textbook edited by the "Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform" for junior high schools, saying that it contains many distortions.

To announce the appeal on behalf of the groups, which include the Historical Science Society of Japan, nine scholars held a news conference in Tokyo on June 20.

The appeal pointed out 58 errors in the textbook in question.

Referring to descriptions which differ from historical facts on the Japanese emperor, Japanese culture, and Japan's relationship with China and Korea, Ebara Masaharu, professor at the University of Tokyo, said that the textbook was written for a peculiar purpose.

Citing a column in the textbook concerning a letter of Commodore Perry (who reopened communications between Japan and the outside world in 1854), Miyachi Masato, professor at the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo, said in anger that the "letter" is a complete fabrication and should be deleted from the textbook.

Kasahara Tokuji, professor at Tsuru University, explained in detail resemblances of the textbook with prewar history textbooks. (end)