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PacNet #32A – Korea-Japan: Defusing the Textbook Controversy

The Japanese government just doesn’t seem to get it! Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro has cautioned Seoul to "not be so emotional" in response to the history textbook controversy. He was responding to a resolution passed by the South Korean legislature that calls upon the Seoul government to annul the historic 1998 joint declaration between the two countries and to conduct a comprehensive review of bilateral relations. This comes on top of Seoul’s announcement last month that it was canceling military exchanges and the introduction of Japanese cultural products in retaliation for Tokyo’s failure to meet Korean concerns and halt distribution of a middle school textbook that glossed over, if not outright ignored, Japanese offensive behavior prior to and during World War II.