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What Japanese schoolchildren are taught?

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The Ministry of Education of Japan amended the textbooks on the history of junior classes. Maps and other visual materials concerning the disputed territories were added to schoolchildren textbooks.

Thus, in the new school textbooks for junior high schools, the Kuril Islands are called "our native territory." They explain it to schoolchildren: during the World War II, the USSR seized the "northern territories", invading the country and thus violating a bilateral non-aggression treaty. Important circumstances, clarifying the real essence of the issue in the textbooks are missing.

As explained in the Japanese Ministry of Education, the educational materials have been corrected in accordance with "the government’s policy of actively advocating the Japanese position on disputed islands". Previously, only senior pupils were told about this problem, now they have decided to start ideological processing from elementary school. Apparently, as a teenager, the young Japanese learned that all the disputed territories belong to Japan and that their neighbors occupied those territories.

It should be noted that the textbooks are not only about the Kuril Islands, Japan makes territorial claims and other neighbors. Thus, Tokyo claims Dokdo Islands (the English name is Liancourt, the Japanese name is Takeshima), which became part of South Korea as a result of the World War II. As in the case of the Kuril Islands, the Japanese authorities believe that the island of Dokdo rejected illegally.

Much attention is paid to the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku archipelago. Schoolchildren are told that the Chinese name Diaoyudao is inappropriate, since this is also Japanese land. According to the authors of the textbook, in the XIX century, Japanese authorities began to explore the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea and immediately incorporated them into the country. After World War II, the archipelago passed to the United States, but in 1972 the Americans returned it to the Japanese. And then China claimed the islands. The Chinese side notes that Diaoyudao archipelago belonged to the Chinese empire 600 years ago, which was confirmed by the documents. In particular, Beijing demonstrates Japanese maps of the 18th century, where the islands were marked as Chinese.

South Korea was the first to respond to the actions of the Japanese Ministry of Education. An official representative of the Foreign Ministry claims that such school allowances distort history and harm bilateral relations. He stressed that "Seoul strongly condemns history textbooks taught in Japan. The claims to Dokdo Island that were made in the textbooks were not justified in any way. The islands are our original territory, not Japanese. History, geography and international law are evidence of that".

Russian politicians also did not stand aside. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called on Japan not to distort the facts of history before. The State Duma deputies reminded the Japanese that Moscow and Tokyo continue to discuss the peace treaty, but there are no agreements on the territorial issue. The parliamentarians noted that the position of the Japanese authorities in the textbooks is a falsification of history, and the younger generation will be disoriented. Tokyo is obliged to respect Russian sovereignty and national interests.

However, Tokyo once again demonstrated to Moscow the unshakable position of the Japanese leadership at any cost to seek revenge - a revision of the legitimate territorial results of the World War II. The fact that in the textbooks for Japanese children all the "northern territories" turned out to be painted over in color of Japan, testifies to the reluctance and political impossibility for Abe to abandon the idea of returning to the "northern territories".

Thus, these actions are another step in the ongoing campaign of the government of Japan on the so-called upholding of their former territories. The decision of the Japanese leadership to instill in their countrymen from childhood that the southern Kuril Islands in Russia are their "ancestral territories" says only one thing - the problem is protracted and the next generations of Russian politicians will probably have to work with it.

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