Most new textbooks approved for use in high schools starting in April 2014 describe the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima as Japanese possessions, the education ministry announced Tuesday.
Two geography textbooks and six of seven textbooks on politics and economics that passed recent screening by the ministry take this stand.
In earlier screenings, all seven new geography textbooks approved for use in high schools starting in the academic year that starts next month describe the Senkakus and Takeshima as Japanese territory. The description is in line with the government’s position.
China and South Korea immediately reacted to the latest screenings.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei repeated China’s sovereignty claim over the Senkakus.
“We hope the Japanese side faces up to history and reality, corrects mistakes and takes concrete steps for improvement in bilateral relations,” Hong said at a news conference.
Meanwhile, South Korea summoned Takashi Kurai, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, and lodged a protest against the approval of the textbooks that support Japan’s claim to the Takeshima outcroppings, which South Korea controls.
“(Seoul) strongly protests against Japan for not looking squarely at history and having approved textbooks containing content that evades its responsibility, and we demand a correction of such textbooks,” a statement by the South Korean Foreign Ministry said.