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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 16 - 22  > JCP Ishii urges government to immediately cancel program showing pro-Yasukuni DVD video in schools
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2007 May 16 - 22 [EDUCATION]

JCP Ishii urges government to immediately cancel program showing pro-Yasukuni DVD video in schools

May 18, 2007
The Education Ministry is pushing ahead with an education program to show in schools across the country a video animation that glorifies Japan’s past war of aggression as a “war for self-defense and the liberation of Asia.”

Revealing this ministry plan at a House of Representatives special committee on education meeting on May 17, Japanese Communist Party representative Ishii Ikuko criticized the ministry for “running counter to the 1995 ‘Murayama Statement’ expressing remorse and apology for Japan’s past war of aggression,” which Prime Minister Abe Shinzo promises to stand by. Ishii demanded that such an education program be cancelled immediately.

Prime Minster Abe tried to derail the course of discussion by stating, “I have not had a chance to watch the video, but I suppose that you assessed it from the JCP viewpoint.”

Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei stated, “If I were a school principal, I would not use it”, but said nothing about the responsibility of the ministry for adopting the material.

“The Abe Cabinet is trying to instill students with values of pre-war days,” Ishii stated.

This animation DVD, entitled, “Pride,” is produced by the Junior Chamber International Japan (JCI). The Education Ministry decided to sponsor an education program using this video. Nationwide, 93 schools have already shown or planned to show the video in school classes.

According to the JCI, which is promoting the education program, a junior high school student who had watched the animated film said, “There seemed no other choice than to wage the war in order to defend Japan.” Another student said, “I didn’t know that Japan had fought the war to defend our own country.”

The video calls Japan’s past war of aggression the “Greater East Asia War,” inspires children to think of “defending our beloved country,” and teaches that the war was “for self-defense.” Concerning Japan’s colonial rule of Asia, the film states, “Japan constructed roads and build schools in order to modernize these countries.” It does not mention crimes committed by Japan such as the wartime sex slavery and the forcible transportation of Asian people to Japan.

Ikeda Yoshitaka, the Former JCI president and a member of a ministry’s advisory panel to screen education programs to sponsor, emphasizes the need to “dispel the sense of guilt instilled after the war.” - Akahata, May 18, 2007
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