The Tokyo metropolitan board of education yesterday adopted a disputed junior high school textbook on Japanese history for use at 23 schools from the next academic year beginning April 2006.
The decision expands the number of Tokyo metropolitan government-run schools that use the textbook from the current three. The textbook distorts the history of Japan's aggressive war against its Asian neighbors and whitewashes Japanese aggressors' atrocities against Asian people.
Graduates of some of the schools and some other groups have released statements protesting the board's decision.
All six members of the board voted in favor of the disputed textbook compiled by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.
The Hakuo High School and Junior High School in Taito Ward have been using the notorious textbook since their opening in April.
The board of first adopted the controversial textbook in August 2001 for use in two schools for the following academic year.
Yesterday's decision by the Tokyo board follows a July 13 decision by the education board in Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture, to use the history textbook published by Fusosha Publishing Inc at 12 junior high schools in the area.
Critics in Japan, along with those in neighboring countries, have strongly protested the use of the textbook, saying it glorifies Japan's militaristic past and justifies its invasion of China, Korea and other Asian countries.
The book alleges that "Japan's victories in the early stage of the war nurtured the dream of independence and courage among the people of Southeast Asia and India."
Regarding the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, the textbook says: "The Japanese forces caused a large number of Chinese military and civilian personnel to die or be injured." But it challenged the validity of the casualties number of the massacre.
In the massacre, the Japanese intruding troops atrociously killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers.
(China Daily July 29, 2005)