Tokyo's handicapped children to learn "New History Textbook"

The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education at a closed-door meeting on
April 7 decided to adopt the controversial history and civics textbooks to
be used in special education classes for disabled children in public schools
run by the Tokyo Government.

This is the first time for a board of education to decide to adopt the
textbooks edited by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform. The
"New History Textbook" praises Japan's war of aggression as a just war for
Japan's "survival and self-defense" and for the "liberation of Asian

In Tokyo, there are 70 emotionally handicapped pupils in two special
education schools and two classes for physically handicapped children.

On the day, over 500 teachers, parents, and citizens rallied in front of
the Tokyo Government Office to protest against the decision. A mother in the
action said, "The board members know nothing about handicapped children."

Akahata on August 8 said that the decision is based on political
calculations to set a precedent, at all costs, for the Society's textbooks
to be used in a public school. Opinions of teachers, parents, and citizens
who are concerned about children being misled about historical facts have
been overridden.

The All Japan Teachers and Staffs Union (Zenkyo) and the national council
for the defense of handicapped people's lives and rights on August 7
published statements in protest of the decision, saying that it is against
democracy and the principles of education.

To date, 70 percent of the country's 542 districts to be covered by
boards of education have made decisions on the use of next year's textbooks
in public schools. None has chosen the Society's textbooks. (end)