Comments by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda on the history textbooks to be used in junior high schools from 2002

April 3, 2001

  1. With respect to the history textbooks that are to be used in junior high schools from 2002, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has recently decided to officially authorize a total of eight books which were submitted.

  2. Japan's textbook authorization system is founded on the basic principle that a diverse range of textbooks employing the creativity and originality of private sector authors and editors will be published, and without the Government defining specific historical perspectives or outlooks. Historical perspectives or outlooks represented in textbooks should not be identified as those of the Japanese Government. The standards to be applied are, first and foremost, whether the book to be authorized is appropriate as a textbook in accordance with the Regulations of Textbook Authorization. What the text approval system considers fundamental is to ensure that flaws, such as obvious mistake or a lack of balance, to be eliminated and remedied in light of objective academic research and appropriate reference material at the time of authorization.

  3. During the process of the recent authorization of textbooks, various concerns have been expressed from neighboring countries. However, the authorization was carried out impartially based on the Regulations of Textbook Authorization, including the Course of Study and the "Provision Concerning Neighboring Countries."
       In this connection, the Japanese Government's basic recognition of its history is reflected entirely in the Prime Minister's statement issued on 15 August 1995 commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Japan humbly accepts that for a period in the not too distant past, it caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations, through its colonial rule and aggression, and expresses its deep remorse and heartfelt apology for this. Such recognition has been succeeded by subsequent Cabinets and there is no change regarding this point in the present Cabinet.
       Japan would like to endeavor to promote mutual understanding and trust with its neighboring countries and contribute to peace and prosperity not onlyin Asia, but in the rest of the world too.
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