The Education Ministry has decided to teach junior high school students about the disputed Takeshima group of islets in the Sea of Japan in social studies classes.
Japan claims territorial rights over Takeshima.
The decision was included in the ministry's curriculum guidelines manual published on July 14 for junior high school teachers.
South Korea, which also claims Takeshima as its sovereignty territory, said that it was temporarily recalling its ambassador to Japan in protest against the Japanese measure.
The document said that it is important for students to pay attention to disputed territories and economic zones which Japan claims as sovereign territory. It also pointed out the need to mention in classes the differences in opinion between Japan and South Korea over the issue of Takeshima.
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in a published comment on the same day stated that it is not appropriate for Japan to take unilateral measures on this issue. His comment is as follows:
The JCP has stated that Japan's claim to Takeshima has a historical basis. It has also stressed that Japan needs to seriously consider South Korea's argument since the island was incorporated into Japan in 1905 when Japan was subjecting the Korean Peninsula to its colonial control and Korea's diplomatic rights were taken away.
The two countries have started a joint historical research project. The Takeshima issue should be resolved through such joint efforts and calm discussions based on historical facts and international law.
- Akahata, July 15, 2008