Attorneys group opposes new junior high school textbook of civics

Japan's oldest association of lawyers working to defend workers' basic interests and rights has announced their call for opposition to the civics textbook by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.

The Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom on June 27 held a news conference in Tokyo to make public their view on the "Society"'s textbooks.

The selection of textbooks to be used from the next school year starting in April 2002 takes place in July and August all over the country.

The representatives of the Lawyers Association noted that the new textbook puts the Japanese Constitution in a negative light, belittles basic human rights and popular movements, forces children into compliance with and obedience to authorities, and decreases their sensitivity to peace and democracy.

The lawyers' group raised several problematic points with the Society's civics textbook:

While stating nothing about the people's sovereignty, it describes as if the source of sovereignty derives from the emperor; accepts restrictions on human rights for the sake of national interests; aims at a setback in equality between men and women; and guides children to face the way towards the adverse revision of the Constitution so as to make the Japanese Self-Defense Forces constitutional. (end)