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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 July 10 - 16  > Signature campaign launched against interference in schools’ textbook selection
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2013 July 10 - 16 [EDUCATION]

Signature campaign launched against interference in schools’ textbook selection

July 10, 2013
A citizens’ group on July 9 launched a signature collection campaign urging the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education to retract its order to public high schools to not adopt a particular history textbook.

The group consists of 30 organizations and individuals. Ikeda Kayoko (translator), Saito Takao (journalist), Honda Yuki (University of Tokyo professor) and other public figures proposed this action.

In a statement issued on June 27 the education board instructs all metropolitan high schools to not use a Japanese history textbook published by Jikkyo Shuppan Co., Ltd.
The statement says that the board’s view contradicts an account in the textbook, “Some municipal authorities are trying to force their workers to pay respect to the Japanese flag Hinomaru (rising sun) and the national anthem Kimigayo.”

At a press conference held at the Tokyo Metropolitan office building, Professor Emeritus at the University of the Ryukyus Takashima Nobuyoshi, one of the initiators of the signature campaign, said that no board of education has ever issued such a statement that pushes schools to not adopt a particular textbook, and criticized it as “very harmful”.

Tawara Yoshifumi of the Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21 pointed out that a local board of education has no right to tell schools to not choose a textbook that passed the screening procedure conducted by the state.

Saying that the board’s act will deprive students of their right to hear views that are different from that pushed by those in positions of power, Tawara stressed, “It is clearly a case of undue interference in schools by the education board.”

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

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