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Japan to step up education on claims on disputed islands, reflect govt view in school text

The Japanese government is revising official teaching manuals to emphasize Japan's territorial rights to the islands disputed with China and South Korea.

The Education Ministry says Tuesday's decision is to reflect the government's official view on the territorial claims. The revision affects the ministry-issued teaching manuals for junior high and high school social classes, effective immediately. The manuals, however, are not legally binding.

The revision is seen as part of education reform by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's nationalist government to instil patriotism and nationalism.

Ministry officials say the manuals currently in use do not mention the Japan-claimed East China Sea islands which are also claimed by China, and that the reference to the Japan-claimed islands held by South Korea in the Japan Sea is too soft.