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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 18 - 24  > Education Ministry wants schoolbooks to include gov’t opinions
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2013 December 18 - 24 [EDUCATION]

Education Ministry wants schoolbooks to include gov’t opinions

December 21, 2013
The education ministry’s advisory body on textbook screening on December 20 decided to propose that the government have its opinions written in textbooks.

Kokugakuin University professor Ueyama Kazuo, who is a body member, expressed his opposition to the proposal by saying, “It is abnormal to change screening standards based on a change in administration or on the opinions of a handful of people.”

The advisory panel compiled a report in accordance with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s argument that many textbooks still carry “masochistic views” of history even with the revision of the Fundamental Law of Education.

Calling for the revision of current guidelines for textbook screening, the report proposes that textbooks should not be used in schools if they contain “significant flaws” based on the “objective of education” stipulated in the Fundamental Law of Education.

The revised law calls for the need to cultivate patriotism as a teaching objective. Textbooks describing Japan’s past war of aggression in critical detail may possibly be labeled as having “significant flaws”, which will encourage publishers to restrain themselves from inserting accounts of Japan’s invasion in their textbooks in order to avoid disapproval from the screening panel.

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