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Politically biased, sometimes inconsistent and ineffective, but otherwise reasonable.

This apparent contrariety roughly characterizes this year’s — and presumably every year’s — social studies textbook screening by the Education Ministry, a process that effectively censors what is taught to children. The ministry, for instance, has directed publishers to say in their textbooks that Japan has only two territorial disputes, even though three areas are actually claimed by other countries. Passages containing only criticism of Japan’s official development assistance were turned down, and only praise was accepted.

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