Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact


SDHF Newsletter No.165 New History Textbook for Middle School (1)

New History Textbook for Middle School Students
Series No.1, Introduction: Understanding History

May 1, 2017

The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform was founded in December 1996 to promote middle school history textbooks that are free from a biased view of history. The formation of this group was due to the appearance of so-called “comfort women” in middle school textbooks, undoubtedly influenced by Yoshida Seiji’s tales of kidnapping in his book titled “My War Crime” and by a leading Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, which published many articles based on his book.
It is unimaginable that the Japanese military kidnapped women and force them to have sex with soldiers. A number of people have investigated the facts concerning comfort stations found in overseas battle zone. The comfort stations were similar to lawfully operated brothels prevalent throughout Japan at the time. In other words, they were businesses, and the women commonly received an income much higher than that of domestic prostitutes. No forced mobilization by the military or coercion to perform sex was ever recorded.
The group requested that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology remove the errors from textbooks, but the Ministry did not take action. So the group produced and published their own textbook. In April 2001, the first edition of “New History Textbook” was authorized by the Education Ministry for use as a formal middle school textbook.
The mass media, especially overseas media, smeared the textbook as having a “nationalistic view.” However, nationalism itself is nothing to be ashamed of. We believe that the “New History Textbook” reflects positive nationalism. Please read the textbook and see for yourself.
We will introduce the textbook chapter-by-chapter as a series with this Newsletter. The textbook we will introduce is the fourth edition published in 2016.
Photo captions and graph legends will not be translated. Japanese, Chinese, Korean names are written surname first according to customs of these countries.

Questions are welcome.

MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact