Japan dismisses neighbors' objections over revised textbooks
Iran Press TV
Tue Apr 7, 2015 9:56AM
Japan has dismissed objections over its newly-approved textbooks for junior high schools from neighboring South Korea and China, which say the books distort history by laying claims to disputed islands.
"It's only natural that we want to teach children correctly about their country's territory," Japanese Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said on Monday.
All 18 new social studies textbooks for use in junior high schools refer to the two separate island groups that are at the center of Japan's disputes with China and South Korea as part of Japan's territory, Shimomura added, rejecting the neighbors' claims over the islands.
Japan and South Korea are at odds over the sovereignty of a pair of islands, called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, in the Sea of Japan. Seoul, which controls the islands since the end of the Japanese colonial rule after World War II, considers Japan's claims as stemming from its colonial past.
Japan occupied the Korean Peninsula from 1910 until its defeat in the Second World War in 1945.
Also on Monday, the South Korean Foreign Ministry summoned Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Koro Bessho to protest over the textbooks.
The approval of the books was "yet another provocation that distorts, reduces, and omits clear historic facts to strengthen its unjust claims to what is clearly our territory," the Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The new books have also replaced the word "massacre" with "incident" when referring to the killing of a large number of Chinese civilians by the Japanese soldiers who invaded the then Chinese capital, Nanjing. China says 300,000 people were killed in the six weeks after the Japanese military entered the city on December 13, 1937.
Japan has also been in a long-standing dispute with China over the sovereignty of a group of uninhabited islands in East China Sea, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japanese and the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese.
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