Shinshinto opposes sex slave mentions in texts

A group of lawmakers from Shinshinto, the largest opposition party, demanded Feb. 12 that the planned inclusion of descriptions of wartime “comfort women” in school textbooks be scrapped.

“Children in this country should be provided with education in a way that allows them to take pride in their own country,” said Shigeto Nagano, head of the group and a former justice minister. The group met with Education Minister Takashi Kosugi to make their request.

“Kosugi replied, however, that he has no intention of instructing the textbook publishers to rewrite the section,” Nagano told reporters. The descriptions, which have been approved by the Education Ministry, are scheduled to be included for the first time in history textbooks for junior high school students in April.

All seven kinds of authorized history textbooks for junior high schools will include information stating that a large number of such women were forced to provide sex for members of the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II. Nagano said the Shinshinto group would like to cooperate with a similar group in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to halt the descriptions being printed. The LDP group has also expressed opposition to the textbook references, saying that there is no objective evidence that proves the military was involved in the abduction of the comfort women, who were largely from the Korean Peninsula.