• Kyodo

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The South Korean government launched a task force Wednesday to study countermeasures against Japan’s approval of junior high school history textbooks that Seoul claims distort historical facts, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said.

The task force, headed by Kim Sang Kwon, vice minister of the Education and Human Resources Development Ministry, comprises officials from related ministries, including the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry.

An advisory panel for the task force will also be formed, made up of historians and other experts.

The first meeting of the newly inaugurated task force will take place Thursday.

In a gesture of anger over the impending release of the controversial textbooks, South Korea recalled its ambassador to Japan on Tuesday.

South Korea also issued a statement after an Education Ministry panel in Tokyo approved the textbooks April 3, warning that the move will seriously undermine bilateral relations. Critics say the history textbooks, including one written by a group of nationalist historians, whitewashes Japan’s aggression in Asia before and during World War II.

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