China and South Korea are, once again, not happy with how Japan’s Education Ministry approved of high school textbooks that said the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan are historically part of the country’s territory. The three countries are embroiled in a row in which China is claiming the Japanese-controlled Senkakus (Diaoyus to the Chinese) as its territory, while Japan is claiming the South Korean-controlled Takeshima (Dokdo to the Koreans) as Japanese territory.
The government of South Korea called on a senior diplomat at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to protest the matter and demanded for Japan to take the necessary measures to correct the statements in the textbooks. In a statement, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said that it will not tolerate this infraction, saying that Dokdo is part of their territory based on history, geography and international laws. It continued by saying that they “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.”
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Japan should “take a correct view of history and reality.” He reiterated China’s stand on the Diaoyus saying that they “are historically Chinese territory and there is no room for doubt that China has sovereignty over the islands.” It is significant to mention that Japan have always had the same content as regards the islands before, and even then South Korea and China have not been very accepting of such content.
It’s also interesting that both countries declined to mention their own textbooks describe the disputed islands as their own, while making little to no reference of Japan’s claims. If China and South Korean feel they have a right to decide what Japan puts in its textbooks based on its beliefs, then it seems Japan should be just as able to lodge complaints and tell those countries what to put in their own.
[via Asia News Network]