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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 July 3 - 9  > Attacks on Japanese history textbooks increasing
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2013 July 3 - 9 [EDUCATION]

Attacks on Japanese history textbooks increasing

July 8, 2013
‘Morning breeze’ column

As reported in Akahata, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education recently sent an official notice to all metropolitan high schools stating that it is “inappropriate” to use the Japanese history textbook published by the Jikkyo Shuppan Company because it includes the sentence that “some municipal authorities compel public employees to respect the ‘Hinomaru’ (Rising Sun) flag and the ‘Kimigayo’ (national anthem of Japan).”

Japan’s senior high schools decide which textbook to use according to their own curricula. The metropolitan authorities’ move is to shut out ideas different from theirs and force high school students to accept the authorities’ stance as the only right one. This is the same as the national textbook system before and during the war, which infringed upon students’ right to form their own opinions by being exposed to various interpretations and ways of thinking.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is intensifying its attack on schoolbooks, especially on Japanese history textbooks used in high schools, denouncing them because they objectively describe Japan’s past war of aggression and its tyrannical rule under despotism. The LDP wants to have deleted from those textbooks the accounts of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China and the so-called “comfort women” issue, the Japanese military’s sexual slavery system. The party is reportedly preparing a “textbook bill” to accomplish this.

The education board is taking the initiative in a joint attack on and tighter control over schoolbooks by the right-wing central government and hawkish local leaders.

Related past article:
> Power shouldn’t interfere in choice of textbooks by schools: JCP Tokyo [June 27&28, 2013]
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