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[ED] Japan's absurd assertions

Tokyo has lost sober judgment over Dokdo sovereignty claim

The Japanese government's preposterous assertion that "Korea is illegally occupying Dokdo" will likely appear in most of that country's middle school textbooks to be used next year. Tokyo's absurd territorial claim over the volcanic outcroppings in the East Sea is not exactly news but is getting stronger with every passing year.

According to the Japanese media, most of the 17 middle school textbooks in the three social studies ― history, geography and civic studies ― contain such a description concerning Dokdo, which reflects the Japanese government's viewpoint. These schoolbooks commonly say these islets are "Japan's indigenous territory," and they are "illegally occupied by South Korea."

In prior editions, at least one civic studies textbook did not even make mention of the Senkaku Islands ― or Diaoyu as China calls them. Still, all schoolbooks, without exception this time around, feature the subject. Even before that, the number of textbooks bearing Tokyo's assertion that Korea was illegally occupying Dokdo jumped three times from 2011 to 2015.

The phenomenon is the result of the Shinzo Abe administration's unabashed intervention in public education, under the slogan of enhancing territorial awareness and overcoming the so-called self-disparaging view of history. From next year on, all Japanese middle school students will be educated to accept their government's assertions as facts. These teenagers, who are in the process of forming consciousness about history and geography, will all but certainly believe Tokyo's claims, sowing the seeds for severe rows between the two countries in the future.

The ultra-right Japanese government has been distorting historical facts with intensifying lunacy. The Abe cabinet, which took retaliatory economic steps after Korea's top court's ruling on forced laborers during World War II, and unilaterally banned entry of Koreans under the pretext of stemming the new coronavirus, is driving bilateral relationship into a hopeless situation for the time being ― now with the further aggravation of the schoolbooks.

No amount of the Japanese government's lunacy can change the facts, however. The Korean government needs to make the most of all diplomatic means available to let the world know that Tokyo's territorial claims on Dokdo are nothing but its frantic last-ditch effort to transform falsehood into truth.


Tokyo has lost sober judgment over Dokdo sovereignty claim

The Japanese government's preposterous assertion that "Korea is illegally occupying Dokdo" will likely appear in most of that country's middle school textbooks to be used next year. Tokyo's absurd territorial claim over the volcanic outcroppings in the East Sea is not exactly news but is getting stronger with every passing year.

According to the Japanese media, most of the 17 middle school textbooks in the three social studies ― history, geography and civic studies ― contain such a description concerning Dokdo, which reflects the Japanese government's viewpoint. These schoolbooks commonly say these islets are "Japan's indigenous territory," and they are "illegally occupied by South Korea."

In prior editions, at least one civic studies textbook did not even make mention of the Senkaku Islands ― or Diaoyu as China calls them. Still, all schoolbooks, without exception this time around, feature the subject. Even before that, the number of textbooks bearing Tokyo's assertion that Korea was illegally occupying Dokdo jumped three times from 2011 to 2015.

The phenomenon is the result of the Shinzo Abe administration's unabashed intervention in public education, under the slogan of enhancing territorial awareness and overcoming the so-called self-disparaging view of history. From next year on, all Japanese middle school students will be educated to accept their government's assertions as facts. These teenagers, who are in the process of forming consciousness about history and geography, will all but certainly believe Tokyo's claims, sowing the seeds for severe rows between the two countries in the future.

The ultra-right Japanese government has been distorting historical facts with intensifying lunacy. The Abe cabinet, which took retaliatory economic steps after Korea's top court's ruling on forced laborers during World War II, and unilaterally banned entry of Koreans under the pretext of stemming the new coronavirus, is driving bilateral relationship into a hopeless situation for the time being ― now with the further aggravation of the schoolbooks.

No amount of the Japanese government's lunacy can change the facts, however. The Korean government needs to make the most of all diplomatic means available to let the world know that Tokyo's territorial claims on Dokdo are nothing but its frantic last-ditch effort to transform falsehood into truth.




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