South Korea and Japan consider history textbook with China

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Reporting from Tokyo and Seoul - Several politicians in South Korea and Japan have begun exploring the possibility of a joint history textbook between their nations and China. But given the lingering differences over issues ranging from past wars to current territorial claims, the proposal faces numerous hurdles.

Members of South Korea's ruling Grand National Party met informally in Seoul this month with counterparts from the majority Democratic Party of Japan. One of the main topics was whether a joint history textbook could now be developed with government cooperation.

Kang Yong-seok, a GNP lawmaker, was among the South Korean politicians who approached the Japanese.

"We [told DPJ] members that it would be very meaningful to write a common textbook," Kang said, citing a history textbook created through German-French cooperation.

"We didn't think the idea was impossible, but the countries have been unable to agree on historical matters," said DPJ member Masashi Mito. "We agreed to revisit and delve into the differences of historical perspectives and look into how realistic such a project can be."

Unrelated to the talks between the politicians, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club this month that a trilateral textbook could help mend fences on historical matters.

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