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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 June 26 - July 2  > LDP scheming to force schools to use textbook glorifying past war of aggression
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2013 June 26 - July 2 [EDUCATION]

LDP scheming to force schools to use textbook glorifying past war of aggression

June 26, 2013
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is aiming at enacting a new law to allow the state to further interfere in the publication of Japanese history textbooks, insisting that current schoolbooks are “masochistic”.

Regarding this issue, Akahata interviewed Tawara Yoshifumi, a leader of the Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21. The summary of his interview is as follows:

The LDP intends to put textbook publishers under state control by establishing a “textbook law”.

The party’s working group in May summoned the presidents of three major publishers of history textbooks and grilled them over textbook descriptions of the Nanjing Massacre in 1937 and the so-called “comfort women” issue, the sexual slavery system set up by the Japanese Imperial military during World War II. An interim report presented by the group on June 12 includes a plan to stop publishing companies from editing textbooks independently and to allow the state authorities to give instructions to those publishers regarding the content of textbooks.

At present, publishing firms edit their textbooks on their own in line with an overall framework provided in government guidelines, and the Education Ministry then screens them. The ruling party aims to introduce a system in which the administration can give publishers detailed instructions on how to write Japanese history. Such a system of total control cannot be allowed in a modern democracy.

Their true aim is to delete descriptions of the “comfort women” and the Nanjing Atrocities, conceal facts from the public regarding Japan’s war of aggression and its colonial rule over other Asian countries, and insert Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s historical interpretation into textbooks.

This move takes the same line as the LDP’s long-cherished wish to revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution and turn Japan into a nation that can make war, as well as teach children to become adults who will work unquestioningly for corporations, financial circles, and the government.

Glorifying the aggressive war will lead to isolating Japan in Asia and the international community. Japanese people had similar bills killed in the 1950s and again in the 1980s. It is urgently needed to launch grass-roots movements against this most recent move together with various civil groups and concerned citizens.
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