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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 March 12 - 18  > Education minister requires local town to use textbook glorifying Japan’s aggressive war
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2014 March 12 - 18 [EDUCATION]

Education minister requires local town to use textbook glorifying Japan’s aggressive war

March 15, 2014
Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun on March 14 required Okinawa’s Taketomi Town to use in public junior high schools a textbook glorifying Japan’s past war of aggression. This is the first time for the education minister to give a direct order to a municipality.

The minister last October gave the same order to the town through the Okinawa prefectural education commission.

In 2011, the textbook selection committee of the Yaeyama district consisting of Ishigaki City, Taketomi Town, and Yonaguni Town, decided to use the civics textbook issued by the pro-constitutional-revision publisher, Ikuhosha, in public junior high schools. As Taketomi Town objected to the committee’s selection, a meeting of all educational board members from the three municipalities was held to examine the selection. As a result, the textbook published by Tokyo Shoseki was selected.

Without accepting the education board members’ decision, the Education Ministry requested the three local governments to use the Ikuhosha textbook. While Ishigaki City and Yonaguni Town followed the ministry’s request, Taketomi Town insisted on its right to use the Tokyo Shoseki textbook.

The Education Ministry argued that Taketomi’s refusal to use the Ikuhosha textbook violates the Act on Free Distribution of Textbooks for Compulsory Education Schools which requires districts to use the same textbooks.

A representative of a Taketomi residents’ group working on the textbook issues said, “If our town is in violation of the law requiring the use of the same textbooks within the same district, Ishigaki and Yonaguni are also in violation of the law. Schools should have the freedom of choice to use the Tokyo Shoseki textbook.”

Past related articles:
> Education ministry imposes pro-constitutional revision textbook on local schools [October 19, 2013]
> Gov’t should stop intervening in textbook use [November 1, 2011]
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