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Ministry orders revision of new history textbooks

The Ministry of Education announced Monday that it had ordered the publishers of all eight recently approved history textbooks to make changes amid disputes over allegedly slanted views on the country’s modern history.

Revision and supplementation were ordered for 829 parts, including their descriptions regarding Japan’s forced sexual enslavement of Korean women, the ministry said.

The announcement came after the month-long analysis of the textbooks approved on Aug. 30 by the National Institute of Korean History, commissioned by the ministry. The textbooks will be used in high schools from next year.

Progressives have accused a book from Kyohak Publishing Co. of expressing biased views, distortions and errors. The authors and conservatives, meanwhile, have called for progressives to stop what they call ideologically-driven attacks.

Regarding Japan’s sex slavery of Korean women, the textbook says that Korean women started to work in military factories after Japan announced a law on female labor in 1944. But former “comfort women” have testified that Japan’s sex slavery had occurred nationwide since the 1930s. The ministry ordered the information to be altered.

The ministry said Monday all publishers should complete revisions and supplementations by the end of October and submit the revised versions no later than Nov. 1.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
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