Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Stop using controversial history textbooks and promote friendship with Asian countries
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2015 April 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Stop using controversial history textbooks and promote friendship with Asian countries

April 21, 2015
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

Resolution of problems surrounding Japan’s wartime history is essential to bring about a reconciliation and build friendships between Japan and Asian countries. Basic knowledge about modern and current history as well as Japan’s aggressive acts in World War II is vital for Japanese young people to get along well with people in neighboring countries. However, in Japan only 13% of people said they studied the war in depth at school compared to 48% in Germany who felt that they had (Asahi Shimbun dated April 14).

The Education Ministry earlier this month released screening results of history textbooks for junior high school students. In the screening process, the ministry complained that one of the candidate textbooks described the so-called “comfort women” issue in a way that does not adequately comply with the government’s view on the issue. As a result, the publisher of the textbook had to drastically revise the description of the military sex slavery system in order to pass the screening.

What the ministry referred to by “the government’s view” was a written answer decided upon by the first Abe Cabinet. It insists that the government found no documents which indicate that the so-called comfort women had been forcibly recruited by Japan’s military personnel.

To make matters worse, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is seeking to have junior high schools across the country use rightist textbooks that praise the past war as a just war.

These textbooks claim that Japan started the Pacific War in self-defense and for the liberation of Asia, and that the U.S. occupation forces implanted remorse over the war in Japanese people’s minds. These textbooks exhibit a distinct contrast to the rest of the authorized textbooks.

The move to justify the past war of agression is going side by side with the government’s attempt to turn Japan into a war-fighting nation. Public efforts are called for in order to put a stop to this move and to promote history education that faces the past squarely.

Past related articles:
> Abe Cabinet has stronger control over history education [April 7, 2015]
> JCP issues statement on school textbook screening results [April 7, 2015]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved