Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that the government "firmly rebutted" China and South Korea's protests over its approval of elementary school textbooks that describe disputed island groups as Japan's territory.

"We received complaints from China and South Korea based on their own positions, but we firmly rebutted them," Suga said at a regular news conference.

"It is extremely important that descriptions of the nation's territories and history are written correctly in textbooks so that children can understand them properly," Suga said. "They are the results of screening conducted from a fair and neutral perspective based on academic discussions by experts."