In August 2011, a school textbook selection council for the Yaeyama islands area of Okinawa Prefecture selected a textbook compiled by Ikuhosha Co. as the civics textbook for junior high schools in the area’s three municipalities. Following the decision by the council, which includes education administrators and educators from the three municipalities, the boards of education in Ishigaki City and Yonakuni Town decided to adopt the Ikuhosha textbook, which is tinged with a conservative perspective, especially on security issues and the no-war Constitution.

The board of education in Taketomi Town decided to adopt a different textbook compiled by Tokyo Shoseki Co. The board’s action is not illegal because the law on local education administration stipulates that the power to select school textbooks lies with each board of education. Another law, however, on the free distribution of school textbooks, says that the same school textbooks should be adopted in municipalities belonging to a school textbook selection zone, which covers several municipalities. Under the law, the central government shoulders the cost of purchasing and supplying textbooks to elementary and junior high schools.

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