News / Asia

Japan Revises Teaching Guidelines to Bolster Claim to Disputed Islands

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Japan is revising its middle and high school teaching guidelines to bolster its claim to a series of disputed islands that are also claimed by South Korea and China.

Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Tuesday that under the revision, teachers will be required to tell their students the islands are "integral territories of Japan."

The move applies to a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan, known in Japanese as Takeshima and in South Korean as Dokdo. It also applies to the uninhabited East China Sea islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

In response, South Korea summoned Japan's ambassador to Seoul. South Korea's foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young threatened "firm measures" in response.

"Our government strongly condemns this [action of modifying Japanese textbook guidelines], and demands that they withdraw this immediately. If the Japanese government does not follow this, our government will take firm measures that corresponds to this right away," said Cho.

China was also upset at the move. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged Japan to "respect historic realities."

"We express serious concern over this and have already lodged a solemn protest to Japan. I want to stress that Diaoyu islands and the adjacent islands have been inherent Chinese territory since ancient times. No matter what the Japanese side is deliberately plotting to promote its false claims by various means, it's absolutely impossible to change the basic fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China," said Hua.

Japan's ties with South Korea and China had already been strained prior to the incident. Both countries were victims of Japan's imperial aggression in World War II and have complained Japan is not doing enough to atone for its past.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upset Seoul and Beijing late last year by visiting a controversial war shrine that includes several convicted war criminals among the Japanese war dead that it honors.

Abe, who took power for the second time in 2012, has taken a more hawkish stance on territorial issues and vows to change his country's pacifist constitution to take on an expanded regional role.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid