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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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1.) Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan related to the decision to authorize Japanese history textbooks:

2.) See the article below by Nando Times:

Textbook dispute between Japan, South Korea cancels joint military exercises[/size]

By PAUL SHIN, Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea (May 8, 2001, 12:07 a.m. EDT) - A scheduled joint naval exercise between Japan and South Korea was called off by Seoul on Tuesday because of displeasure over Japanese textbooks that South Korea believes whitewash Japan's wartime atrocities

The joint navy search-and-rescue drill, originally scheduled in June in the East China Sea, will be postponed indefinitely pending resolution of the textbook dispute, said Yoon Il-young, a spokesman for Seoul's defence ministry.

The decision to call off this year's exercise came after Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo summoned Japan's ambassador and made an official demand for a revision of eight Japanese school textbooks that critics say distort or tone down Japan's invasion of South Korea and other Asian countries in the early part of the 20th century.

During a 30-minute meeting with the Japanese envoy, Terusuke Terada, Han delivered a document detailing Seoul's demands for a revision of 35 controversial passages in the eight textbooks.

"The textbook issue has not only inflicted a deep shock on the minds of our people but also damaged an agreement reached earlier between the two countries to clear up the past and forge a future-oriented relationship," Han said.

It is unclear how Japan would receive the South Korean demands. But Japanese government officials already have said there would be no change in their decision that approved the textbooks in early April.

The textbook issue is galling the Kim government which is struggling to shore up its flagging popularity in the midst of an economic slowdown.

North Korea is also angry over the Japanese textbooks, accusing the Tokyo government of trying to evade its due historical responsibility.

Copyright Nando Times
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ARTICLE: S. Korean school cancels peace talk with 'unfriendly' Japan

Taken from Kyodo News,;April 28, 2001:

S. Korean school cancels peace talk with 'unfriendly' Japan

NAHA, Japan April 29 Kyodo - A South Korean high school has canceled a video-conference discussion on the topic of peace due to take place Sunday between their students and Japanese students in Tokyo and Okinawa Prefecture, deeming Japan to be ''unfriendly,'' organizers said Saturday.
Japanese organizer Kenichi Kudaka said the Young Il language high school in Incheon informed him Thursday that its students would not take part in the discussion, which had been planned to involve 130 students in the three locations.

Copyright ツゥ Kyodo News
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ARTICLE: South Korean demands actions from Japan on textbooks

Reported by World News from Radio Australia on 26/05/01:

South Korean demands actions from Japan on textbooks

South Korea has demanded that Japan take "visible action" in dealing with the recently approved Japanese junior high school history textbooks that critics say attempt to justify Japan's past military aggression.

South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, Han Seung Soo, made the demand during a meeting in Beijing with Japanese Foreign Minister, Makiko Tanaka.

Mr Han also expressed concern over Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi's plan to visit a memorial for Japan's war dead, while expressing hope for an early passage of a bill in Japan to allow permanent foreign residents to vote in local elections and the realization of visa-free trips to Japan by South Koreans.

Among other wide-ranging topics, Tanaka and Han agreed to continue cooperation on economic ties and North Korea-related issues.

Copyright ツゥ ABC Online, RA
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ARTICLE: South Korea puts student exchange on hold

Reported by Kyodo News, June 28, 2001:

South Korea puts student exchange on hold

AOMORI 窶 The ongoing controversy surrounding recently approved Japanese history textbooks has led a South Korean county to cancel a plan to send junior high school students to its "sister-city" town in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in August, town officials said Thursday.

Okchongun in North Chungchong Province on Tuesday faxed a letter to the town of Gonohe saying that while they initially believed the textbook issue between the two countries would be settled peacefully and the sister cities would be able to conduct normal exchanges, the situation has not yet been resolved.

Copyright Kyodo News
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ARTICLE: History Textbook Issue

Here's an interesting editorial published by the Korean Digital Chosun on 16/08/01:

Japan's Government Lost, But Its People Won

The so-called 'history distorting textbook' authored by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform has only been selected as official texts in twelve Japanese schools. Only twelve schools, mostly special schools for the handicapped, have chosen the textbooks, or 0.1% of 12,209 middle schools in Japan. The society campaigned strongly to have its textbooks selected in 10% of the countryツ。ツッs schools, and held nationwide lectures and lobbying efforts aimed at local legislative bodies, all under the protection of the politicians and private right-wing groups. The six public schools that were virtually forced to choose these textbooks are all for the mentally handicapped, evidence of how the society has lost not only numerically: it has been defeated morally, as well.

Japan's government, politicians, and social leadership find it hard to resist misleading denials of history and idealizations of the past, but civic groups led by housewives and teachers have helped their country exercise good judgment. Voices of conscious were at work at the grass-roots level, as people let it be known they did not want their children and students to be taught a distorted worldview. To make pamphlets of protest they emptied their shopping purses at a time when Japan has been in recession now for ten years. Those who work went to protest in human chains instead of going home.

This victory for Japanese civic groups is significant in two major ways for the peoples of Korea and Japan. First comes the question of whether governments should be depended on entirely to judge what a nation's interest is. The Japanese government determined that glorifying its past was in the national interest, but civic groups responded by saying that looking the truth in the face was in Japanツ。ツッs best interest. It should go without saying that the Japanese people have a more mature approach. Secondly, but also important, is the question of whether our government made the wisest choices when choosing its methods for pursuing Koreaツ。ツッs national interest. When confronted with these textbooks, the Korean government instantly froze all exchange between schools of all levels, non-central government bodies, and private organizations. This kind of shortsightedness says much about Korean bureaucratsツ。ツッ approach to dealing with problems. The Korean and Japanese peoples have the duty to work for the mutual understanding and respect of future generations, and they have to do this despite governments like these.

The textbook issue is barely getting started. The society already has its eyes set on writing elementary textbooks, and it would be safe to assume it is going to try to make up for lost ground when it comes time for high schools to choose history textbooks for the 2003 school year. We urge the Japanese government to see the historical truth for what it is, in order for there to be a fundamental solution to the situation. We also hope that the Korean and Japanese people together succeed using the strength of their best judgment in stopping further regressions of history.

Copyright Digital Chosun
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ARTICLE: The ongoing battle over Japan's textbooks

Reported by the International Herald Tribune, February 12, 2002:

The ongoing battle over Japan's textbooks

=> IHT: The ongoing battle over Japan's textbooks (via Web Archive)
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The issues on the distorted history textbooks to the young
japan's generation were talked on news several times.

It's true Koreans don't know much of Japan's history,
and it seems they don't need to know of japan.

But koreans get easily sensitive the history of the last
colonized era until 1945, and they want Japan's government
will admitt honestly what they've done to Koeans and
other Asians.
Actually we are not in a state of criticizing Japan's text books, but at least Japan has to show tiniest regret on what they had done in the past.
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