Most new high school textbooks describe Takeshima, Senkaku Islands as Japanese


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.

  • Why does Japan continue to lie about history?

    • Anon

      They aren’t. Guys, do your research first.

  • Its pretty lame for the Japanese government to use textbooks to brainwash kids with such issues. Are these kids missing out on less controversial ‘history’. Mind you any Japanese history seems controversial. Maybe they should stick to Greece. I wonder whether they are introduced to the Chinese perspective. Perhaps best if the dust is allowed to settle. Just one more reason to move education out from government hands. We already saw what the govt did with postal savings? Do we need to watch passively as they destroy the minds of kids to score a political point. But then, maybe that ‘black ship’ has sailed.

  • cloa513

    The nationalist textbook content is total waste of book space- kids won’t read that and won’t care when forced to read it.

  • I guess it makes sense for the senkakus to appear in geography and political textbooks. It is relevant…. But economics textbooks? WTF?

    Though I wouldn’t be surprised if chinese text books described the senkakus as Chinese….

    I wish there were some excerpts of the offending passages from these books. Its hard to make any judgement without knowing what we are making a judgement on…