Needs to pay more attention on this issue
Recently, the Japanese government approved three new high school textbooks claiming Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, which lie less than 90 kilometers east of Ulleung Island in the East Sea, as part of its territory Tuesday. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) said the move implicitly glorified the neighboring country’s wartime colonial past.
“Of 39 high school textbooks that we have examined, 21 claimed that Dokdo was Japanese territory,” a MOFAT official said asking for anonymity. “Three have mentioned Dokdo for the first time. The remaining 18 had previously made the claim.”
The Japanese education ministry announced the first results of the high school textbook screenings that will continue until 2014 in line with its new policy to enhance territory-related education in its schools.
Nam Sang-gu, a senior researcher at the Northeast Asia History Foundation, concurred that the number of textbooks claiming Dokdo as Japanese territory has not significantly increased.
However, he stressed that more of the high school textbooks have begun to wrongfully assert that Dokdo has long been a part of Japan’s history.
Japan secretly annexed Dokdo, which it refers to as Takeshima, in 1905 _ prior to the colonization of the Korean Peninsula _ in an alleged attempt to install military facilities on the rocky islets during the Russo-Japanese War.
The newly adopted textbooks will be used in Japanese high schools from March next year.
In response, MOFAT summoned a Japanese diplomat to protest the approval of the textbooks that reassert Tokyo's territorial claims.
"We strongly protest the approval by the Japanese government of high school textbooks that justify a distorted historical perspective and glorify its past wrongdoing, and demand a fundamental correction," MOFAT spokesman Cho Byung-jae said.
Sources say, of the 19 new Japanese textbooks submitted for the screenings, 12 referred to Korean women, who were forced to serve the Japanese military, as sex slaves during World War II.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihoko Noda recently said that the Peace Statue _ a monument of a young Korean girl set up in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to remember the victims of Japan’s sexual enslavement _ distorts facts.
Soure: The Korea Times