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2008年12月 7日 (日)

教科書検定 圧力の排除が透明性の前提だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 7, 2008)

Quiet environment key for screening textbooks

教科書検定 圧力の排除が透明性の前提だ(127日付・読売社説)

When it comes to the issue of authorizing school textbooks, the most important thing is for the government not to cave in to external pressure and intervention in the authorization process. While the work involved in the process should be transparent, the system should be one that fully recognizes this crucial point.

 教科書の検定は、外部の圧力や干渉を排除することが何より重要だ。その作業の透明化は必要だが、あくまでこうした点に十分に配慮した仕組みであるべきだ。

A working group of the Textbook Authorization and Research Council, an advisory organ to the education, science and technology minister, recently formulated a plan to improve the textbook authorization system.

 文部科学相の諮問機関、教科用図書検定調査審議会の作業部会が、検定のあり方を改善する案をまとめた。

The improvement plan stipulates that the following items be made public after the authorization process is finished: summaries of proceedings at divisions and subcommittees where substantial deliberations took place; the original copies of written opinions; and divisions and subpanels the council's members belong to.

 改善案では、検定後、実質的な審議が行われた部会や小委員会の議事概要、検定意見書の原案、各委員の所属部会や小委員会などを公開する。


Also, the plan says, the names and job histories of the ministry-selected senior textbook specialists who compile the original plans for written opinions shall be revealed.

また、意見書原案を作る文科省の教科書調査官の氏名や職歴も明らかにする。

Summaries of proceedings at division and subpanel meetings have not normally been made in the past.

 これまで部会や小委員会では、議事概要自体が作られていなかった。

The written opinions used in the authorization process have been made public after the process is completed, but the original opinions have not.

また、検定後、検定意見書は公表されるが、原案は対象になっていなかった。

===

Transparency vs autonomy

Moves to improve the current system were prompted by last year's debate over whether mass suicides committed during the Battle of Okinawa in the Pacific War were conducted at the behest of the Imperial Japanese Army, an issue that came up in connection with the authorization of Japanese history textbooks for high schools. Claims that the deliberation process was not transparent were leveled at the council, among other criticisms.

 今回の改善案作りは、昨年、高校日本史の教科書検定で沖縄戦の集団自決をめぐり、「審議の経過が不透明だ」などと批判されたのを受けたものだ。

The improvement plan aims to boost the transparency of the authorization process while protecting it from outside interference. To achieve a balance between these two goals, the working group decided to maintain the nondisclosure stance for the nitty-gritty of the deliberations but to disclose summaries of the deliberations after the authorization process is completed.

We think this was an appropriate decision since a quiet environment is necessary for council members to exchange opinions freely in a coolheaded manner.

 改善案が、検定の透明性に配慮する一方、審議の非公開を維持し、記録の公開も検定後としてバランスを取ったのは、妥当な判断だ。冷静で自由な議論を交わすには、静かな環境が確保されていなければならないからだ。

There has been unjustifiable interference in the textbook authorization system from parties inside and outside the country in the past. In some cases, the quiet environment needed for the authorization process to be carried out smoothly was lacking.

 教科書検定をめぐっては、過去にも国内外の不当な干渉にさらされ、そうした環境が保たれているとは言えない例があった。

One such example was the uproar over a middle school history textbook written by members of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform. Pressure was exerted from people in the country as well as the Chinese and South Korean governments as long as six months before the authorization process was completed in the spring of 2001.

 「新しい歴史教科書をつくる会」のメンバーが執筆した中学歴史教科書をめぐる騒動も、その一つだ。2001年春に検定結果が出る半年も前から、国内の一部や中国、韓国政府の“圧力”があった。

In the instruction manual for teachers released in July that accompanies the curriculum guidelines for middle school social studies classes revised in March, it was stipulated for the first time that students be taught that the Takeshima islets off Shimane Prefecture, known as Dokdo in South Korea, are an integral part of Japanese territory.

 今年改定された中学校社会科の学習指導要領の解説書には、竹島が日本の領土だと教えるよう、初めて盛り込まれた。

South Korea protested against the publication of the manual and temporarily recalled its ambassador to Japan.

韓国が抗議し、駐日大使が一時帰国する騒ぎになった解説書だ。

The authorization of textbooks that will be written in line with the instruction manual will take place in fiscal 2010. If details of the screening process are revealed while the process is ongoing, there are bound to be problems, we believe. It would then be impossible to maintain the proper environment to discuss whether descriptions in textbooks are appropriate from an academic point of view.

 その解説書に沿った教科書の検定は10年度に実施されるが、仮に検定中に経過が明らかになれば、混乱が予想される。学術的な見地から適切な記述かどうかを議論する環境は、到底保てまい。

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Panel has unique function

Although the council is an education ministry panel, like the Central Education Council and others, it has one feature that differentiates it from the other panels.

 検定審は、同じ文科相の諮問機関でも、中央教育審議会などとは性格が大きく異なる。

The Central Education Council debates the ideal form of education administration, while the Textbook Authorization and Research Council examines textbooks submitted by textbook publishing companies for screening and decides, as an administrative measure, whether they are suitable. Accordingly, the panel has to make "no" decisions that are disadvantageous for textbook firms.

 中教審は行政施策のあり方などを議論するが、検定審は、教科書会社が申請した本を審査し、合否を決定するという行政処分を下す。教科書会社にとって不利益な不合格決定を出すこともある。

It follows that it is natural for the authorization panel to have a different way of making things public from those of other panels.

 公開のあり方におのずと違いがあるのは、当然だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2008)

20081270153  読売新聞)

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