December 28, 2009 09:04
A teachers'union in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in November last year distributed materials to members that support Korea's sovereignty over the Dokdo islets against a persistent Japanese claim, it emerged Sunday.
The materials distributed four months after the Japanese government in new educational guidelines for middle school textbooks insisted that Dokdo must be described as part of its territory.
But the union urged teachers to instruct students in classrooms that Korea's claim is lawful despite new textbooks to be published under the guidelines.
"If you read historical factors cool-headedly, the Korean claim is based on stark facts," the union said in its newsletter on Nov. 28, 2008. "Some organizations including Shimane Prefecture are laying claim to Takeshima [the Japanese name for Dokdo]. That is a wrongful act aimed at justifying Japanese aggression and colonial rule."
How many members the union has is not known, but they apparently comprise some 30 percent of teachers and education workers in Hokkaido.
The incident became more widely known in an editorial on Sunday by the conservative Sankei Shimbun newspaper, which urged teachers to instruct students that Dokdo is part of Japanese territory. "The Hokkaido teachers union created a problem last year by distributing data to schools that Korea's claim is true," it pointed out.
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