Updated January. 13, 2014 05:50
The Japanese government plans to stipulate in teaching manuals for the Course of Study that the Dokdo islets (the Takeshima islets in Japanese) are its inherent territory. The decision is expected to worsen the relationship between Korea and Japan.
Japanese media said on Sunday that Japans education ministry mulls over revising middle and high school teaching manuals to claim that the Dokdo islets and the Senkaku islets (the Diaoyu islets in Chinese) are Japanese sovereign territory. If the manuals are revised this year, the revision will be effective for textbooks to be used from 2016.
According to the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, the new manual will include a claim that the Dokdo islets are illegally occupied by Korea. It also says, It needs to have students understand that there is no territorial dispute to address at all over the Senkaku islets. The education ministry will stipulate these claims in the teaching manuals for middle school history and society, high school geography, and Japanese history. Teaching manuals are not compulsory but have been used as a guideline for creating textbooks or teaching in classes. As a result, the description that the Dokdo islets are Japanese sovereign territory is likely to be more common in Japanese textbooks.
When the Japanese government mentioned its sovereignty over the islets by revising its teaching manuals for middle schools in 2008, Seoul had Kwon Chul-hyun, the then Korean ambassador to Japan, return home temporarily to show its strong protest against this.