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Friday, Aug. 12, 2005
Contentious texts going to Machida private school
By ERIKO ARITA
A private junior high school in the Tokyo suburb of Machida has chosen two social studies textbooks that have been denounced for distorting history and glossing over Japan's wartime atrocities.
Tamagawagakuen Lower Secondary Division, which has 872 students, said Thursday it selected the history and civics textbooks compiled by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform and published by Fuso Publishing Inc., for the next academic year.
Social studies teachers at Tamagawagakuen chose the Fuso textbooks from among books approved by the education ministry because they are easy to read, and include a lot of content on Japanese culture and many pictures, claimed Masaharu Kobayashi, a public relations official at the school.
"Japanese people should know about Japan when they go to other countries," Kobayashi reckoned, adding the school stresses teaching about Japan and the rest of the world.
Several teachers argued against the books, saying they present a one-sided view of the war. But the texts were chosen because the school wants to include this perspective among the many that they will present, the official said.