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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Facing education board pressure, no schools choose textbook depicting coercion of Hinomaru and Kimigayo
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2013 August 21 - 27 [EDUCATION]

Facing education board pressure, no schools choose textbook depicting coercion of Hinomaru and Kimigayo

August 23, 2013
Following pressure from the metropolitan education board, no public high schools in Tokyo have selected a Japanese history textbook to be used in the next fiscal year which touches on the issue of local governments’ forcible “Hinomaru” and “Kimigayo” order on public employees.

The textbook published by Jikkyo Shuppan Co., Ltd. presents an account that “some municipalities force their employees” to stand facing the Hinomaru (rising sun) flag and sing the Kimigayo (reign of your majesty) song.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education on June 27 released a statement stating that the use of Jikkyo Shuppan’s textbook is “inappropriate” on the ground that its account regarding Hinomaru and Kimigayo differs with the board’s view. The board sent this statement to all public high schools before they made the choice of which Japanese history textbook to use from April 2014.

The education commission last year did the same with the selection of textbooks. It phoned public high schools that expressed an intention to use Jikkyo’s textbook and requested them to make a decision “in line with the commission’s view”. Like this year, no school picked Jikkyo’s textbook.

On August 22, a civil group opposing the education board’s interference in schools’ textbook selection pointed out at a press conference in the Tokyo Metropolitan Office building that the board’s act infringes on Article 19 and 21 of the Japanese Constitution which protect the freedom of thought and creed as well as the freedom of speech, expression, and press, and undermines Japan’s democracy.

It also said, “If a textbook containing depictions critical of authorities is excluded from schools’ choice, textbook publishers will delete such depictions from their textbooks.”

The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members’ group repeatedly urged the education commission to not apply pressure on and intervene in textbook selection by public high schools.

In Saitama Prefecture, eight public high schools have decided to use Jikkyo’s Japanese history textbook from next spring.

Past related articles;
> Signature campaign launched against interference in schools’ textbook selection [July 10, 2013]
> Power shouldn’t interfere in choice of textbooks by schools: JCP Tokyo [June 27&28, 2013]
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