May 19, 2008 09:09
The Japanese government reasserts dubious claims of sovereignty over Korea’s Dokdo Islets in a handbook for social studies classes in middle school, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Sunday. The handbook, which is updated every 10 years, supplements curriculum guidelines and has binding power for textbooks published from 2012. All social studies textbooks for middle school students will have to describe the Dokdo Islets, or Takeshima in Japanese, as Japanese territory.
According to the Yomiuri, the current version of the handbook indicates only one territorial dispute, the one between Japan and Russia over the four islands in its northern territories -- Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai. The Japanese government had originally planned to include Dokdo in the new guidelines published on March 28 but decided not to in consideration of ties with Korea, which showed signs of improvement after the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration. Lee’s inauguration took place in February, and his April visit to Japan had been announced at the time.
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