April 07, 2015 09:29
Seoul on Monday lodged a protest against Japanese school textbooks that push Tokyo's flimsy colonial claim to Korea's Dokdo islets.
Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong summoned Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho to deliver a protest after the far-right Japanese government revised guidelines requiring junior high school textbooks to mention the claim.
"We strongly urge the Japanese Education Ministry to take the lead in repenting the erroneous past and correct misdeeds through accurate teaching of the country's history of aggression, so that its distorted historical accounts do not break the peace in Northeast Asia as the two countries mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of their relationship," the ministry said in a statement.
A first batch of 18 middle school textbooks have been revised under new guidelines issued by the Abe administration in January 2014.
The Japanese Education Ministry is required to make sure school textbooks take the government line that Korea illegally occupies the islets and has forced publishers to follow suit.
That is expected to keep relations with Korea in the deep freeze for the time being since the Japanese government reviews school textbooks every four years by grade –- elementary, middle and high school -- and a new set of high-school textbooks are up for revision in 2016.
Critics here worry that a whole generation of young Japanese will grow up ill-informed and resenting Korea.
Nam Sang-koo, a researcher at the Northeast Asian History Foundation, said, "A hundred percent of Japan's next generation will grow up with the false belief that their land was taken away by Korea."
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