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Another 23 Japanese Schools to Use Controversial Textbook

A district of Tokyo adopted a nationalist history textbook for its 23 schools, the third school board to opt for the book that has outraged China and South Korea.


The education board of Suginami, one of 23 wards in the Japanese capital, voted to use the controversial book from April 2006 at its junior high schools which have a total of about 6,300 students, a municipal official said.


Tokyo's nationalist-led metropolitan government has also adopted the book for its four junior high schools and 22 special institutes for students with disabilities. Nearly all public schools in Tokyo are run by individual wards.


The first community to adopt the controversial textbook was Otawara, an industrial and agricultural town 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of Tokyo, for its 12 junior high schools in the next school year.


The book, which opponents accuse of glossing over Japan's past atrocities, was approved by the Education Ministry in April as one of eight that school boards can choose for students aged 13 to 15.


The decision led both Beijing and Seoul to summon Japanese ambassadors and triggered successive weekends of anti-Japanese protests in China.


The textbook makes no mention of the women sexually enslaved by Japanese troops during their invasions of Asia and refers to the Nanjing Massacre as an "incident" in which "many" Chinese died.


China says 300,000 people perished in the 1937 massacre of the occupied city. 


The textbook is an update of a previous edition that was approved in 2001 and used by only 0.1 percent of Japan's junior high schools, all of them for mentally challenged students.


(Chinadaily.com.cn via agencies, August 12, 2005)

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