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S. Korea slams Japan for renewed territorial claims via textbooks

English.news.cn   2014-04-04 14:43:14

SEOUL, April 4 (Xinhua) -- South Korea slammed Japan Friday for its renewed sovereignty claims to the disputed islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, by approving the revised school textbooks that described the islets as Japan's territory "illegally occupied by South Korea."

Japan's education ministry gave a green light earlier in the day to all social studies textbooks to be published by four Japanese publishers for fifth and sixth graders in elementary schools.

The revised textbooks, which will be used from April 2015, depicted the Dokdo islets as integral parts of Japanese territory illegally controlled by South Korea, while illustrating the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Japan as Senkaku, as where Chinese vessels are operating illegally.

Among five Japanese textbooks approved in 2010 for elementary school students, only one textbook mentioned the Dokdo and Diaoyu islands.

On January 28, Japan infuriated South Korea and China by revising its teaching manuals for junior and senior high school students to describe the Dokdo and Diaoyu islands as "integral parts" of Japan's own territory.

"Our government strongly censures the Japanese government for pushing through the screening of elementary school textbooks, which raised provocations further to Dokdo than 2010, after revising the teaching manuals for junior and senior high school students on Jan. 28," Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

If Japan seeks to teach a distorted and concealed history of its imperialistic aggression even to elementary school students, it will result in isolation of Japan's future generations from the international community, said the ministry.

The ministry said that it will also be equal to Japan backing down on a promise as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed just three weeks earlier to inherit past apologies for its wartime atrocities.

Abe said on March 14 that he and his cabinet will inherit the Kono and Murayama statements, or past apologies for the military Japan's sex slavery and wartime aggression.

Abe's comments resulted in South Korean President Park Geun- hye agreeing to sit down face-to-face with Abe under the arbitration of U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit held in late March in the Netherlands.

It was the first meeting between Park and Abe since they took office more than a year earlier. Park had refused to meet one-on- one with Abe citing his wrong perception of history.

Abe infuriated its Asian neighbors by paying respect to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 convicted class-A war criminals during World War II, in December last year. Ties between Seoul and Tokyo turned sour after Abe returned to power in December 2012.

Seoul's foreign ministry warned that if Tokyo continues its provocations to the Dokdo in the name of textbook examination, a path for mending fences between the two nations cannot help but to become farther.

The ministry said in a separate statement that it was very regrettable for Japan to lay its repeated, preposterous sovereignty claims to the Dokdo islets through the so-called Diplomatic Bluebook for 2014 released earlier in the day.

The diplomatic paper, passed Friday by the Japanese cabinet, reiterated its claims that the Dokdo was Japan's own territory on historical facts and international law.

Such claims showed that Japan has failed to wake up from an illusion of its history of imperialist invasions, South Korea said, noting it will do serious damage to relations between Seoul and Tokyo as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The Diplomatic Bluebook is Japan's foreign policy guideline that has been annually released since 1957.

To protest against Japan's repeated provocations, South Korean vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong called in Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koro Bessho Friday afternoon.

Editor: Yang Lina
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