Japanese History Textbook Controversy

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  • Topic: Japan, Textbook, Japanese war crimes
  • Pages : 2 (459 words )
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  • Published : January 19, 2014
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Week 3 Essay: Japanese History Textbook Controversy

The Japanese history text book controversy has to do with Japan intentionally omitting certain historical events in their textbooks for school students. During WWII, Japanese officials screened textbooks and altered or excluded certain accounts related to imperial rule and education so that the US occupation was not offended. After the war, this textbook screening process continued and led to the seven publishing companies having to comply with a Japanese government textbook policy where their textbooks were subject to a yearlong review by the Ministry of Education. One major difference between the US and Japan is in the way that textbooks are published. The process of review and approval in the US provides for much less government oversight of text book publisher’s writings. In Japan, however, the government has much more control concerning what gets published.

Ienaga Saburo and Fujioka Nobukatsu were involved the approval process for publishing textbooks in Japan. Saburo, in 1965, filed lawsuits against the Japanese Ministry of Education citing that their process of reviewing and requiring changes to historical accounts was unconstitutional. Fujioka Nobukatsu, on the other hand, is credited as being behind a conservative movement in Japan to screen and remove accounts of wartime atrocities and depictions of WWII humanitarian issues such as the Rape of Nanjing, Unit 731 and comfort women. Nobukatsu is a Japanese conservative nationalist who set out to “correct history”. He believes that reefing to events that he calls “dark history” essentially would sacrifice the national interest of Japan. Nobukatsu, in early 2000, formed the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform and wrote a textbook called “The New History Texbook” that blotted out these historical atrocities or dark history. Their reformation plan did not sit well with the people of Japan or neighboring countries like China, North...
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