Tokyo approves controversial history textbook
The Tokyo metropolitan board of education decided Thursday to adopt a controversial history textbook and will put it into use next spring at a secondary school run by the metropolitan government.
The decision could pave the way for the popularization of the textbook widely regarded as a whitewash and distortion of Japan's invasion history in the World War II.
The New History Textbook was approved by the Ministry of Education,Culture,Sports,Science and Technology in April 2001.But the government saw a strong resistance from schools with an adoption rate of merely 0.039 percent,mostly in those for handicapped children.
The textbook is criticized for contents including advocating worship to the empire by ushering in mythology and justifying Japan's aggression of Asian nations.
China,the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and South Korea,had repeatedly pressed the Japanese government to revise the controversial textbook.
"The Tokyo metropolitan board has joined with the people who gloss over the aggression in breaking the educational law,"said the All Japan Teachers and Staffs Union in a statement,accusing the board of making the decision arbitrarily without consulting the teachers.
"It's a serious matter that the Tokyo metropolitan chose such a history textbook.The move will impose negative impact on the way the other prefectures pick textbooks,"said Koichi Yoshida,an official of the Children And Textbook Japan Network 21.
Under the decision,the Hakuo High School will become the first six-year secondary school in Tokyo to use the new history textbook compulsorily.The textbook may spread out to other such schools in the near future if local education boards follow suit.The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform,the body that compiled the textbook,intends to have it adopted by 10 percent of Japanese secondary schools next year.
Tokyo Network,an organization consisted of 76 public groups,told a press conference on the day they had rendered to the education board a petition letter signed by 29,000 people to repeal the ordinance.