Japan’s Ministry of Education will be implementing a new system for screening textbooks to be used in history and geography classes in elementary and high schools all over the country. Sources say they ministry will be requiring the schoolbooks to reflect the government’s stands on certain territorial and historical issues.
The reforms to the screening system were reportedly decided on by the ministry on Tuesday and is a result of the interim report published by the educational revitalization committee, an initiative of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. They will be consulting with the council of textbook examination before making the matter official. Under the new system, the schoolbooks will be asked to reflect Japan’s position on certain territorial issues, such as the Northern Territories conflict with Russia and the issue over the ownership of the Takeshima Islands, in conflict with South Korea. Regarding historical issues that have different theories attached to it, they will be requesting publishers to use well-balanced descriptions instead of using definitive accounts.
The reforms on the laws for textbook selection is not just for international issues, but even for domestic ones as this has triggered a dispute in the Okinawa Prefecture. The Taketomi Municipal Board of Education chose a civics textbook for high school that is different from the one that the Yaeyama district council, to which the town of Taketomi technically belongs to, decided on. Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura therefore ordered the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education to demand that Taketomi comply with the uniform textbooks policy.
[ via The Mainichi ]
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