The results of the education ministry’s screening of junior high school textbooks to be used from fiscal 2016 show that social studies textbooks strongly reflect government views on Japan’s territorial disputes with China and South Korea as well as other modern history issues. It must be questioned whether this trend in children’s education is healthy and desirable.

Behind this trend is the screening standard adopted in January 2014, which says that when dealing with certain issues in the nation’s modern history, textbooks’ descriptions must include the governments’ unified views or finalized court rulings on those issues if they exist. It also says that if textbook authors mention views or figures related to issues in modern history that are not accepted by consensus, they must clearly say so.

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