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Tokyo Approves New School Textbooks Claiming to Dokdo

#Hot Issues of the Week l 2021-04-04



The Japanese government this week approved new high school textbooks that reinforce Tokyo’s sovereignty claim to Dokdo.

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said on Tuesday a total of 296 textbooks to be used mainly by first-graders at high school starting next year passed the ministry review earlier in the day.

Thirty of the new textbooks concern three social studies subjects—comprehensive history, comprehensive geography and public affairs—and most of them reportedly contain Japan’s claim to the easternmost South Korean islets.

Eighteen textbooks on comprehensive geography and public affairs argue Dokdo is Japan’s own territory or that South Korea is illegally occupying it.

Twelve comprehensive history textbooks note how Dokdo was incorporated into the Japanese territory in the past, while some of them explicitly include its sovereign claim.

The South Korean government on Tuesday denounced Tokyo for approving the textbooks.

In a commentary by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Choi Young-sam on Tuesday, the Seoul government said the new Japanese textbooks do not state historical facts as they stand and are written from Japan’s own historical perspective, calling on Tokyo to make an “immediate correction.”

Noting Dokdo is South Korea’s own territory historically, geographically and under international laws, the government said it cannot but deplore's Japan decision to approve such textbooks once again and strongly denounces the act.

It also stressed that providing accurate historical accounts for the young generation should be the basis for building constructive and future-oriented partnership between the two countries and called on the Japanese government to squarely face history and show a more responsible attitude educating their youths.

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