|This Dec 13, 2012 photo taken from a marine surveillance plane shows the Diaoyu Islands and nearby islands. (Photo / Xinhua)|
TOKYO - Japan's education ministry released on Tuesday a draft of new curriculum guidelines which require elementary and junior high schools to teach in classes that China's Diaoyu Islands as well as a group of disputed islands currently under control of the Republic of Korea, are "inherent" territory of Japan.
While asserting Japan's sovereignty over the two disputed island groups, the teachers will not be required to tell the students about Japan's neighbors' claims over the islands "in parallel" with Japan's claims, according to the education ministry.
We firmly oppose that Japan asked for the endorsement of the US on its illegal territorial claim in the name of the US-Japan security treatyGeng Shuang, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson
It is the first time that the Japanese ministry decided to make such requirements in the guidelines that stipulate what must be done by schools.
The guidelines will be formally published next month and fully implemented for elementary and junior high schools from fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021, respectively.
Curriculum guidelines for elementary, junior high and senior high schools are revised roughly every 10 years, according to local reports.
The release of the draft guidelines came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump affirmed in Washington D.C. that Article 5 of the US- Japan security treaty covered the Diaoyu Islands.
China on Monday expressed grave concern at and firm opposition to the statements concerning the Diaoyu Islands made by Japan and the US.
"We firmly oppose that Japan asked for the endorsement of the United States on its illegal territorial claim in the name of the US-Japan security treaty," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.
"Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets are China's inherent territory. No matter what anyone says or does, the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China cannot be changed," Geng said.
"China will never waver in its determination and will safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.