Japan approves new textbooks repeating false territorial claims
Updated: 2021-03-30 16:45:25 KST
Good evening. Sadly, it seems like it's become a regular thing but South Korea has had to slam Japan and summon its senior diplomat to Seoul.
That's because earlier in the afternoon, Tokyo authorized new high school textbooks that renew its false territorial claims to Korea's easternmost Dokdo Island and distort history.
Our foreign affairs correspondent Yoon Jung-min is live on the line from Seoul's foreign affairs ministry.
Jung-min, so, what are the revisions to the Japanese textbooks this time?
The Japanese education ministry approved 296 textbooks for high schools, including 30 books on social studies like history, geography and civics that contain unilateral claims by Japan to South Korean territory.
Reports say geography and civic studies textbooks either claim that South Korea's Dokdo islets belong to Japan OR that they are illegally occupied by South Korea.
These claims are in line with the Japanese government's education guidelines on Dokdo approved in 2018.
On the issue of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women and girls, reports say the description of the historical facts has been minimized, and some have omitted the coercive nature of Japan's so-called "comfort women" system.
The textbooks are to be used in high schools in Japan next year.
South Korea has always condemned Japan every time it has made such false claims and summoned its senior diplomat to Seoul. Was South Korea's response any different this time?
Seoul's foreign ministry strongly protested to the Japanese government about the approval of these textbooks and called for an immediate correction.
The ministry made it clear once again that the Dokdo islets belong to South Korea historically, geographically and under international law.
It also called for Japan to educate its young people in accordance with the same spirit of sincere apology and self-reflection that Japan itself has expressed regarding its system of wartime sexual slavery.
The foreign ministry said that system was violation of universal human rights.
And because of what seems to be a whitewashing of the past, Seoul's foreign ministry also commented on the "comfort women" issue this time unlike in 2016.
It called for Japan to show responsibility in teaching its younger generation so that there can be a constructive and future-oriented relationship.
Seoul's foreign ministry summoned a senior official at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to lodge a complaint.