It seems Japanese publishers were very conscious of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strong nationalistic stance when they decided to include Japan's false territorial claims to the Korea-controlled Dokdo Island in elementary school textbooks set to be published next year.
Japanese media outlets reported Saturday that publishing houses, preempting a revision to the law that comes into force in 2016 that textbooks will have to reflect the government's opinion in regards to history and territorial issues, decided to make the revisions early.
The companies are said to be concerned their textbooks might not be selected by the education ministry if they veer too far from the current administration's agenda.
Abe has been hardening Tokyo's territorial claims to Dokdo Island ever since he came to power last year, and diplomatic relations with Seoul have eroded as a result.
One of the publishing firms even went as far as to replace the fact the two countries co-hosted the 2002 World Cup Finals with wild claims the Japanese invasion of Korea in the early 1900s was a "a military expedition" and that Korea is illegally occupying Dokdo Island.
"We need to teach students that Dokdo and Senkaku are Japanese territory. It needs to be taught that way and they need to be understood as our territory."
This latest move comes despite pressure from the United States for Japan to improve its strained ties with Korea.
It was Washington's insistence that saw the leaders of the three countries come together late last month on the sidelines of an international nuclear security summit in the Netherlands.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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