Yokohama adopts nationalistic junior high history textbook

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The Yokohama board of education on Tuesday adopted a disputed history textbook with a nationalist bent for use in many of the city’s public junior high schools, municipal officials said.

The textbook was mainly authored by a group of nationalistic scholars called the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, popularly known as Tsukurukai.

It is published by Tokyo publishing house Jiyusha.

The book has drawn international criticism chiefly from China and South Korea for allegedly playing down Japan’s militarist past and justifying its wartime role.

The Yokohama board of education decided to use the textbook in schools in eight of the city’s 18 wards for two academic years starting next April, the officials said.

Jiyusha said Yokohama, with a population of 3.67 million, is the first large city to adopt its history book. It cleared the education ministry’s fiscal 2008 textbook screening.

The Yokoyama board’s six members on Tuesday discussed history textbooks from seven publishing houses, including Jiyusha.

The panel failed to reach a consensus on the selection of Jiyusha’s history text. Some members said they appreciated the way the book makes it is easy for students to grasp the flow of history, but others criticized it as glorifying Japan’s participation in a series of wars.