Japan Press Weekly
Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan
Google Our Site:

Japan Press Weekly www

SDF Joint Staff College ends 'Yasukuni'-based history lessons

Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu said that the Self-Defense Force Joint Staff College's senior staff will no longer teach the views on history and state that justify the past Japanese wars of aggression.

Hamada made the remark in answer to Japanese Communist Party representative Inoue Satoshi at the March 17 House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting.

The Joint Staff College started the controversial history course in 2003 with former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Tamogami Toshio taking the initiative soon after he became the Joint Staff College president. Tamogami was dismissed last October for dissenting from the government view on Japan's role in World War II.

Last November when he was summoned by the Diet as an unsworn witness, Tamogami admitted to his involvement in setting up the controversial history program.

Tamogami invited lecturers from the Society for History Textbook Reform, an influential rightist force that glorifies Japan's war of aggression. They gave lectures giving the historical interpretation that praises what they call Greater East Asia War and attacks the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals by justifying Japan's war of aggression.

About 400 SDF commissioned officers have reportedly enrolled in the program that includes these biased and distorted lectures.

Last December, Hamada stated that the ministry will review the program, suggesting that the course may be abolished.

In the recent Diet meeting, Hamada stated that the Joint Staff College's program is under review and that some courses, including one on "history and state" will be discontinued from April 1.

JCP Inoue said that in the light of the extraordinary contents as well as process that led to the opening of the program, all programs initiated by Tamogami should be canceled.

- Akahata, March 18, 2009

Copyright © Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved