Textbooks to add pages on disputed territories in 2017

JIJI

Based on new government guidelines, Japan’s high school textbooks for fiscal 2017 will have 60 percent more descriptions about its disputed territories, including the Senkaku and Takeshima islands, the education ministry said Friday.

The textbooks, to be used mainly by first- and second-year students, have cleared the ministry’s screening panel.

New screening standards that call for using descriptions based on government positions and Supreme Court rulings, are being applied for the first time.

This is the second round of screenings since the government ended its yutori (relaxed) education policy. A review by private-sector publishers takes place every four years.

According to the results of the latest screenings, the average number of pages edged up, and 259 textbooks, including 242 on such common subjects as English, passed the government review.

All textbooks mentioned the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which caused extensive damage in parts of the Tohoku region, and the subsequent core meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. They also described the ongoing rebuilding efforts in the disaster zone and other pending problems.

Many textbooks took up the issue of constitutional amendments and national security.

In January 2014, the ministry revised its manual for curriculum guidelines and instructed schools to teach territorial disputes, such as about Takeshima, a tiny outcropping claimed by Japan but controlled by South Korea, and four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that Japan calls the Northern Territories — in geography, Japanese history, politics and economics textbooks.

Teachers were also instructed to explain the government’s efforts on the territorial issues, the history of the problems and the legitimacy of Japan’s sovereignty claims.

Based on the revised guidelines, many textbooks described the Senkaku Islands, Takeshima and the Northern Territories as inherent parts of Japan.

The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are under Japanese administration but are also claimed by China and Taiwan, which call them Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.

Takeshima, in the Sea of Japan, is controlled by South Korea, which calls it Dokdo.

The Northern Territories were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II. The territories were also referred to in some maps and world history textbooks. As a result, descriptions related to the territories grew 60 percent from those in the existing textbooks.

About 30 cases of descriptions of the territories were revised after demands from the ministry panel.

Regarding a description of the Senkaku Islands, the panel said students could misunderstand that Japan has a territorial dispute with China. Japan’s official position is that no territorial dispute exists over the islands.

The panel demanded changes in five cases, including descriptions on the 1937 Nanking Massacre and postwar compensation, and the publishers complied.

Outside the new standards, publishers met the panel’s requests and revised textbook descriptions on such issues as national security, energy and the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea, in order to better reflect the government’s positions.

  • TV Monitor

    Japan’s territorial disputes could only be settled by war, and all of Japan’s neighbors are fine with settling the disputes by war once and for all.

    China and Korea in particular have historical grievances to settle.

    • Tachomanx

      I see that your racist warmongering remains intact. At leats you are consistent.

      By the way, the leaders of Japan, Korea and the U:s. will be gathering to talk about NK, which is actually a real and more urgent matter, particularly for your country.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Complementary to this sort of patriotic education ought to be mandatory “defense” training for all Japanese “males” (no females because that would not be in line with tradition).

    I think there also needs to be a revival of study of the Meiji Imperial Rescripts, especially the one on education. The “beautiful country” continues to blossom.

  • disqus_liE4QIJiMO

    Nationalism kills. If what we seek is educated individuals then we should teach how to use the Internet and see what others think & why they think as they do, then form their own opinions. Blood for territory. Anxious to see what 18-year-olds are thinking & how they’re going to vote. They’re the ones going to the front line if nationalism entrenches itself among youth & they vote to fight for their islands. What sorrow.

  • disqus_liE4QIJiMO

    Nationalism kills. If what we seek is educated individuals then we should teach how to use the Internet and see what others think & why they think as they do, then form their own opinions. Blood for territory. Anxious to see what 18-year-olds are thinking & how they’re going to vote. They’re the ones going to the front line if nationalism entrenches itself among youth & they vote to fight for their islands. What sorrow.

  • disqus_liE4QIJiMO

    Nationalism kills. If what we seek is educated individuals then we should teach how to use the Internet and see what others think & why they think as they do, then form their own opinions. Blood for territory. Anxious to see what 18-year-olds are thinking & how they’re going to vote. They’re the ones going to the front line if nationalism entrenches itself among youth & they vote to fight for their islands. What sorrow.

  • disqus_liE4QIJiMO

    Nationalism kills. If what we seek is educated individuals then we should teach how to use the Internet and see what others think & why they think as they do, then form their own opinions. Blood for territory. Anxious to see what 18-year-olds are thinking & how they’re going to vote. They’re the ones going to the front line if nationalism entrenches itself among youth & they vote to fight for their islands. What sorrow.

  • disqus_liE4QIJiMO

    Nationalism kills. If what we seek is educated individuals then we should teach how to use the Internet and see what others think & why they think as they do, then form their own opinions. Blood for territory. Anxious to see what 18-year-olds are thinking & how they’re going to vote. They’re the ones going to the front line if nationalism entrenches itself among youth & they vote to fight for their islands. What sorrow.

  • Bia

    Japanese government needs to stop lying about history. Do not misguide own people. Greed only brings destruction. Remember what you did to your own people during WWII.

  • Tachomanx

    Well, I don’t see Japan doing anything different from what every other nation around the world does regarding their history.

    You won’t see Spain claiming they destroyed the local cultures of the americas but simply saying they were the first to build schools in them
    Nor the U.S. admit to the genocide of the native americans or how they stole half of Mexico’s territory.

    And of course, if we take a look at korean or chinese textbooks we will get the same if not worse sinc they instill actual hatred for another country and spew garbage like correct view of history or all of Asia belongs to China.

    And then they have the gall to try to push their version of history on another country. What gives them the right in any case?
    In this case is simply Japan explaining it’s territorial claims to it’s young. Quite tame compared to what it could teach if it wanted to.

    • TV Monitor

      Tachomanx

      I don’t see Japan doing anything different from what every other nation around the world does regarding their history.

      Other countries do not teach factually incorrect fictions as history. Japan does. Japan is the land where fictions become official state history.

      And of course, if we take a look at korean or chinese textbooks we will get the same if not worse sinc they instill actual hatred for another country

      At least they instill hatred of Japan with facts, not fictions.

      • Tachomanx

        Oh my, of course they do or the story told from a certain angle as to not cause a ruckus. For example, the korean colonial time, from an angle it was a moment when modernity was brought, slavery ended and the country’s modern structures settled. From another perspective it was a time of brutal oppression and whatnot. Both correct but it depends on what you focus the most.

        If such facts were actually so, the rest of the world would just like Korea and China. They aren’t since they are very friendly towards Japan, have strategic partnerships, numerous exchanges, alliances and even admiration!
        Also, when someone in Korea challenges the “official version” of things with different facts from different sources, gets indicted with criminal charges as to suppress academic dissention which is key to determine the facts of history from a complete and objective view

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        For example, the korean colonial time, from an angle it was a moment when modernity was brought

        The modernization was brought to Korea in the 1880s, 30 years prior to Japanese take over.

        slavery ended

        In 1894, 16 years prior to Japanese take over.

        and the country’s modern structures settled

        In the 1890s, 20 years prior to Japanese take over.

        The conclusion is that Korea would have been much better off without Japan’s inteference.

        the rest of the world would just like Korea and China.

        And they do.

        have strategic partnerships

        Which countries? Just the US? LOL!

        Also, when someone in Korea challenges the “official version” of things with different facts from different sources, gets indicted with criminal charges

        It is not a crime to challenge the “official version” of history with one’s own alternate interpretations, it’s done all the time.

        It is however a crime to defame actual persons with incorrect facts or outright lies, like the surviving comfort women.

      • Tachomanx

        Were that true then how come Korea was taken over so easily? A modern nation would have at least posed a better fight than a post-guerrilla effort.
        By your numbers as well it seems Korea got western modernity pretty much at the same time as Japan so there is really no excuse as to the incompetence and weakness it presented years after.

        Also, the current education model of Korea was established by Japan and many of the so called fathers of the nation were officers of Japan’s government or military.

        Point a country other than the koreas or China with such animosity or ill will towards Japan. I mean, Taiwan experienced the same as Kore and for longer yet they have quite a good opinion of Japan and the same goes for Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, the U.S. and even Russia still wants japanese trade and investments despite the northen territories thorn.

        The academic was presenting facts and documented arguments, none proved to be fabrications or lies. She challenged an accepted “truth” the government wouldn’t allow to be questioned as to avoid losing a diplomatic weapon. There were grounds for debate, yet they decided to use intimidation, so much for academic freedoms in Korea huh?

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        Were that true then how come Korea was taken over so easily?

        When the black ships came from America in 1853, the Edo shogunate surrendered without firing a single shot and Japan’s modernization began.

        When the French came to Korea in 1866, the Joseon court didn’t surrender, but actually fought back and the French retreated. Ditto for the American black ship fleet that came in 1871. This delayed Korea’s opening by 20 years and gave Japan a 20 year headstart in modernization, which Korea was unable to catch up. Korea was unfortunate enough to be the neighbor of a robber holding a machine gun, so it got lobbed big time.

        So who lost today wins tomorrow, while who won today lose tomorrow.

        You are witnessing the same thing happening in the 21st century, but in reverse. Korea was forced to reform its banks and modernize governing structure by the IMF and western investment banks who set on boards as directors after the default in 1997. Japan came out unscratched during the 1997 Asian financial crisis and business went on as usual.

        18 years fast forward, forcibly reformed Korea has become the world beater with a sound government finance and massive sustained trade surpluses, whereas Japan that did not reform 18 years ago have crossed the point of no return and a sovereign default is inevitable.

        A modern nation would have at least posed a better fight than a post-guerrilla effort.

        Well, Hong Kong and Singapore couldn’t put up much of a resistance against Imperial Japan. Heck, even the US forces in the Philippines couldn’t.

        By your numbers as well it seems Korea got western modernity pretty much at the same time as Japan so there is really no excuse as to the incompetence and weakness it presented years after.

        By the same argument, there is no excuse as to the incompetence and the insolvency of modern Japan of 2016.

        Point a country other than the koreas or China with such animosity or ill will towards Japan.

        Russia

        The academic was presenting facts and documented arguments, none proved to be fabrications or lies.

        To be found guilty of defamation, one must have been found to have stated a false accusation against them since it is not possible to defame one with facts. So Professor Park Yu Ha, a Japanese literature professor with zero backgrounds in history, was found by court to have stated dozens of historical inaccuracies by the court, hence guilty of defamation by lies. Her claims were so outrageous that 300 history professors openly challenged her in a public debate to debunk her book, she only had to choose one. Of course she didn’t accept the challenge.

        The same thing happened with Kato Tatsuya of Sankei, who admitted on the first day of trial that his article was factually wrong and didn’t contest the errors, but then blamed the Korean newspaper from which he cited.

      • Tachomanx

        A rather simplistic view of the Meiji restoration, the shogunate still attempted reform before the civil and eventually military revolts that led to the demise of the shogunate and paved the way for the following restoration.

        Korea is sputtering on the face of a slowing China that it decided to attach itself to. Already investors in Korea demand greater returns and corporate reforms.

        You do know that the U.S. back in the day had cut it’s military spending by nearly a half due to the great depression and weren’t ready for war as it’s army was the same size as that of Yugoslavia and as still using horses for cavalry.
        The british were too busy dealing with the germans as to properly defend their possessions in the far east which were overwhelmed by not only modern weapons but also numbers impossible to match.

        No one seems alarmed by Japan beyond the demographics issue little guy.

        Russia is inviting Japan to invest in it’s far east and in several energy co-development projects. Where’s the actual ill will?
        Besides, Russia, a country led by a megalomaniac. Seems that’s what it has in common with China and the Koreas.

        When the stakes are against you it is really hard to overcome an already unfair trial over such an issue upon which the government has an “official” stance that doesn’t like challenged or even questioned. You’ll hardly come on top of such vitriolic opposition that has long stopped cvonsidering other possibilities.
        I mean, this coming fro a government that calls protesters terrorists and immediatelly indicts anyone who questions it be it an academic or a journalist.
        So much for freedoms in Korea.

      • TV Monitor

        Tachomanx

        the shogunate still attempted reform before the civil and eventually military revolts that led to the demise of the shogunate and paved the way for the following restoration.

        Reforms by the shogunate was limited in scale; after all the whole purpose of reforms were to preserve the power of shogunate. Revolutionaries who kicked the shogun out were far more drastic in the scope of reforms they were willing to go.

        The reverse was true in Korea, where the revolutionaries failed the coup and the conservatives held onto power, but the reforms under conservatives weren’t reaching far enough to modernize quickly.

        120 years later, table turned again and it was Korea that reformed fast under external pressure of IMF while it was Japan that resisted reforms, so Japan is now falling behind not just Korea, but China as well.

        No one seems alarmed by Japan beyond the demographics issue little guy.

        It is only Japanese who aren’t seeing the problem, while everybody else is either scared or has written off Japan as a failed state.

        You do know that the U.S. back in the day had cut it’s military spending by nearly a half due to the great depression and weren’t ready for war as it’s army was the same size as that of Yugoslavia and as still using horses for cavalry.

        The british were too busy dealing with the germans as to properly defend their possessions in the far east which were overwhelmed by not only modern weapons but also numbers impossible to match.

        So why are you blaming Koreans for their failures to repel Japanese invaders when the Brits and the Americans couldn’t?

        Where’s the actual ill will?

        Russian nuclear bombers circle around Japan regularly?

  • Ron Lane

    I’m willing to bet that more classroom time will now be spent on the disputed territories than all of World War II.