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New history textbook may damage Japan's relations with China and South Korea

TOKYO, July 28 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Fesyun) - A new history textbook, approved by Tokyo's education council for use in Japanese high schools, may damage relations between Japan and its northeast Asian neighbors China and South Korea.

The textbook explains past Japanese aggression against its neighbors during World War II in the Far East as a liberation move, angering China and South Korea.

South Koreans and Chinese take it for a declaration of Japanese leadership's conformism to past militarism.

The approval of the history and civic textbook by Japan's Ministry of Education in April 2005 led to anti-Japanese demonstrations in China and South Korea.

The textbooks will be used in 26 Tokyo high schools beginning April 1 of next year.

Two weeks ago, the textbooks were also sanctioned by the educational council of Otawara, a city in Tochigi Prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, for use in four high schools comprising 1,600 pupils.

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