N. Korea slams Japanese textbooks for distorting history, justifying invasion

SEOUL– North Korea on Sunday blasted Japan for approving history textbooks that distort history and glorify Tokyo’s imperial past.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) noted that those school textbooks have left out details of Japanese atrocities during its colonial period while also renewing territorial claims to Dokdo, South Korea’s easternmost islets.

“The textbooks define Japanese invasions as a step toward civilization and prosperity,” the KCNA said. “Japan has established foreign invasions as the basis of its military strategy, and will do anything to accomplish its goals.”

The KCNA added that Japan, by “shamelessly” distorting history, is trying to instill in young students spirits of militarism and lay the foundation for realizing its old dreams of building an economic and military bloc in East Asia with Japan in charge.

The KCNA also warned that Japan could set off a new war in Asia as it continues to strengthen its military and expand its presence overseas.

A textbook screening committee under Japan’s education ministry approved 296 textbooks for first-year high school students on Tuesday, including 30 kinds for social studies subjects, such as history and geography. The books will be used starting next year.

South Korea, too, condemned Japan for its approval of texts renewing Tokyo’s claims to Dokdo, and also urged Japan to recognize issues related to the victims of wartime sexual enslavement by the Japanese military.

Dokdo has long been a recurring source of tensions between the two neighbors, as Tokyo continues to lay claim to the islets in its policy papers, public statements and school textbooks.

South Korea has been in effective control of Dokdo, with a small police detachment, since its liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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