The Japanese government is set to show how serious they are about the sovereignty of two island groups that are currently being disputed. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is now considering putting descriptive information about the Senkakus, a chain of uninhabited islets controlled and administered by Japan in the East China Sea, and the Takeshima islets, another group of islands in the Sea of Japan, in teachers’ manuals. Japan is set to educate its people about the claims they have on both sets of islands, even though they are currently being disputed with the country’s neighbors.
Education minister Hakubun Shimomura said that this information is set to be included in the instruction manuals for school curriculum guidelines. Shimomura revealed the information at a news conference on Tuesday, saying that it is extremely important for children, “who are the future of Japan,” to know their country’s sovereign territory. The Senkakus, while controlled by Tokyo, is being disputed by China – calling them the Diaoyu Islands – and to a lesser extent, Taiwan, who refer to it as Diaoyutai. The Takeshima isles are controlled and administered by South Korea, which calls them the Dokdo Islands. South Korea also maintains a small police force in the islands.
Currently, the existing instruction manual for junior high school refers to Japan’s claims to Takeshima, which it considers part of Shimane Prefecture. But for the high school manual, Takeshima is not mentioned at all. The Senkaku Islands are not referred to in both the manuals for junior high schools and for high schools. Even the mention of Takeshima in the manual for junior high schools drew a strong reaction from South Korea, causing Seoul to temporarily recall its ambassador from Japan. Shimomura said that if and when the instruction manuals are revised, the Japanese government will explain the revision to neighboring countries through diplomatic channels, he said.
[via Japan Times]