The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party plans to make Japan's education system more conservative if it regains control of the government in next month's Lower House election.
The move, spearheaded by LDP President Shinzo Abe, includes such plans as reviewing a stipulation that currently requires the government to pay consideration to Japan's past relations with neighboring countries when screening school textbooks.
Once the party officially decides on the plan on Nov. 21, it will be included in the party's public promises for the Dec. 16 election.
The party's promises on education were compiled by the Kyoiku Saisei Jikko Honbu (Headquarters to carry out the revitalization of education), headed by former deputy chief Cabinet secretary Hakubun Shimomura.
In a document submitted to Abe on Nov. 16 detailing those promises, the organization says that Japanese textbooks contain many descriptions that are skewed or self-deprecating to Japan.
To change that, the LDP plans to drastically reform the standards used in the school textbook screening process.
"(We aim to change the standards) so that children can learn with school textbooks that lead them to have pride in Japanese traditions and cultures," the document says.
The LDP also plans to reform local boards of education, which in recent months have been criticized for their delay in dealing with a series of bullying cases. The LDP says it will make the "kyoikucho," or head of the secretariat for the board, responsible for the board, instead of the chairman. Also, local government leaders will appoint the kyoikucho with consent from local assemblies. At present, the boards of education appoint the kyoikucho. In addition, the position of kyoikucho must be full-time, according to the LDP's plan.
The party also plans to enact the basic law to prevent bullying, which makes it possible for the central government to offer financial support to local governments' measures against bullying.
The LDP also plans to make it possible for individual students to choose to skip or repeat grades, depending on their academic abilities.
It will also promote autumn admission for universities, and plans to introduce achievement tests, which can be taken repeatedly in a year, into university entrance examinations.
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