Sunday, September 27, 2015

Japanese education ideology

Takahashi Shiro
Ideology is important to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his Administration. Nearly 90% of Abe's cabinet participate in highly ideological groups focused on recapturing the traditional Japanese spirit. These are not just politicians who want to govern Japan; they want to recast it.

Among the ideologies supported by PM Abe and his Education Minister Shimomura is Oyagaku founded by Shiro Takahashi [ 高橋 史朗] (b. 1950) in the late-1990s. Minister Shimomura is head of the secretariat of Oyagaku caucus in the Diet (Caucus to Promote Parental Education [親学推進議員連盟 Oya gaku suishin giin renmei], aka Home Education Support Caucus).

Takahashi, a professor at Meisei University and former deputy chairman of the revanchist Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, promotes the concept of “Oya Gaku” (Parenting Studies). It asserts that parents need to be educated about correct childrearing. “Correct” in this context means emulating pre-war education.

Takahashi and his supporters believe that today’s parents have been infected by Nikkyouso (Teacher Union)-sponsored leftist ideology during their own school years and, as a result, many are unfit parents. Although not a scientist and his work is not peer-reviewed, he has pioneered his own “science” of autism and other developmental delays in children and claims that they can be reversed. He argues that developmental delay is a product either of a lack of effort by parents or of “Westernization” undermining Japan’s traditional values.

Takahashi is an advocate for a return to pre-war Japanese education practices. He believes that the United States has crippled Japan and infused it with a sense of masochism, since the Occupation. He expresses reservations about sex education and gender equality. He has called the movement away from gender discrimination a tool used by Japan's occupiers to disarm the country psychologically.

Takahashi is a member of Abe’s Gender Equality Council in the Cabinet Office’s Gender Equality Bureau. He is a also a frequent speaker at anti-Comfort Women rallies in concert with Nadashiko Action. He participated in their press conference in New York earlier this year. He is a board member of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and is a signatory of the Institute's September 26, 2015 advertorial, "Time to hit back at international aspersions 'over comfort women'" in several Japanese newspapers, including English-language ones.

Happy Science's Liberty Web interviewed Mr. Takahashi last fall in an article entitled "GHQ Completely Occupied the Japanese Spirit." He states that "GHQ nurtured Japanese who could be used for anti-Japanese propaganda, and would, even after they were gone, expand the “occupational policies” by the Japanese themselves, and set the direction so that they would self-destruct." The result he believes created a
chain of negative post-war education for over three generations, the Japanese have lost their pride and confidence, and lost their traditional morality and spirit. Tradition and ethics governing the raising of children has been destroyed, and the spirit of children and grandchildren has been devastated. 
He calls on the Japanese "to take back the foundation of the Japanese spirit."

Books by Mr. Takahashi include:

Traditional Japanese Education and Brain Science – Developmental Delay Can Be Cured
[ 脳科学から見た日本伝統的子育ってー発達障害の予防、改善できる Nou kagaku kara mita Nippon no dentouteki ko-sodate – Hattatsu shougai ha yobou, kaizen dekiru] (Moralogy Institute, 2012)

What USA Did During The Occupation So That Japan Would Never Be Able To Stand Up Again [日本が二度と立ち上がれないようにアメリカが占領期に行ったこと, Nippon ga nido to tachiagarenai youni Amerika ga senryo-ki ni okonatta koto] (Chichi Shuppan, Jan 2014)

LATER: Expert on Nanking for Foreign Ministry before UNESCO
N.B.: Takahashi is not a professor of history

Akahata on November 10 reported that Japan participated as an observer in the meetings of the UNESCO International Advisory Committee held on October 4-6 in Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates, and that Meisei University Professor Takahashi Shiro who criticizes textbook descriptions of the Nanjing Massacre as “masochistic” and “anti-Japanese” accompanied the government delegation there. You can find his name in the final report under "observers" as the only non-governmental member of the Japanese delegation.

Whereas we have not yet found a copy of this government paper, this article by Takahashi published by the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, Speaking Out #332, October 20, 2015, Japan Should Urgently Organize Team to Deal with UNESCO Problem is reflective. He outlines the six proposals he made upon his return from the UNESCO conference to a joint meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Foreign Affairs Division, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Division, the Headquarters for Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership, the Global Information Study Committee and the Special Committee for Recovery of Japan's Honor and Credibility. Five of these suggestions have been enacted.

The following article tries to point out the difficulties of involving Takahashi in government policy.

Japanese statement protesting UNESCO registration of Nanjing Massacre docs backfires
Mainichi Shimbun
November 6, 2015

Documents the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and experts submitted to UNESCO in protest of its registration of China's "Documents of Nanjing Massacre" in its Memory of the World (MOW) program are backfiring, as it includes a statement that cites a scholar known for views denying that the massacre even took place.

The statement in question was compiled by Meisei University professor Shiro Takahashi, and was submitted in late September to the International Advisory Committee of the MOW Program alongside a statement from Kuni Sato of Japan's permanent delegation to UNESCO.

Based on his own analysis of a portion of the documents submitted by China to UNESCO for the Nanjing Massacre's registration in the MOW program that was released to the public, Takahashi wrote that it was impossible to determine the authenticity of the contents.

The statement not only noted the "publication of a book in which some 100 Japanese soldiers deny that such a 'massacre' took place," but also stated that the contents of a diary kept by a Chinese woman who was in Nanjing at the time was . mostly based on hearsay Furthermore, Takahashi cited Shudo Higashinakano - a professor at Asia University known for his views denying the Nanjing Massacre - and expressed doubts about the dates of the photos China submitted to UNESCO and their relation to the massacre. [APP Editor: Higashinakano was sued and lost a defamation suit by a Nanjing Massacre victim. The Supreme Court judge severely reprimanded him for telling falshoods.]

As for the lieutenant general from the Imperial Japanese Army who was sentenced to death in the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal for masterminding the killing of 300,000 Chinese, Takahashi concluded, "His troops were ordered to change course when they were 500 meters inside the City Wall of Nanjing, so it was physically impossible to carry out a massacre. "

University of Shizuoka professor Hisaki Kenmochi, whose research focuses on comparisons between interpretations of history in Europe, Japan, China and South Korea, said he was concerned about the image Takahashi's statement may give to the world. "The statement gives the impression that Japan is siding with the school of thought that the Nanjing Massacre did not take place. This makes it possible for the world to view the situation as the same as the school of thought denying that the Holocaust ever took place. "

Hirotaka Watanabe, an international relations professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, also expressed his misgivings, saying, "There's a possibility that the statement made the world's impression of Japan worse, which is the opposite of what the Japanese government meant to do."

Takahashi, however, is unmoved by his critics. "People may criticize Higashinakano's scholarship, but I believe that what I cited from his work has been verified." Meanwhile, a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "Takahashi maintains a good balance compared to other conservative scholars. "

The Japanese government officially recognizes that it can not deny that Japanese soldiers killed Chinese civilians and looted in Nanjing. In the 2010 Japan-China Joint History Research Committee meeting, scholars from the Japanese side set the maximum possible number of civilian victims at 200,000, with estimates of around 40,000 or 20,000. The Chinese scholars of the committee maintained that at least 300,000 were killed.

On Nov. 5, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hiroshi Hase made a speech at UNESCO's General Conference in Paris, and urged party states to engage in debate to improve the MOW registration process, including increased transparency.

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