Tokyo Board of Education extols rightist history textbook

Akahata reported on July 8 that the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education sent Tokyo's municipalities a document apparently designed to prompt local boards of education to select the rightist history textbook written by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.

The document in question was issued in June to be used by local boards of education as a reference in selecting a history textbooks for use in their localities in the next school year starting in April.

The "reference" lists the names of "historic figures" the board recommends as people who contributed to the development of the nation and society. Among them are characters who appear in the nation's myths and legends and whose existences in history are not established.

In addition, Tokyo's Board of Education apparently appreciates the Society's new textbook, which aroused much criticism in Japan and internationally, referring to the fact that many more such "historic" figures are cited in the textbook than in any other textbook.

Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro, who is critical of the current system of textbook adoption that respects teachers' opinions, has requested the board of education to ignore teachers' opinions, which the governor regards as biased and leading to a selection based on wishful thinking.

Criticism that the criterion lacks relevancy and is aimed at recommending the new textbook is rising among those involved in history education. (end)