BEIJING, April 11-- China's education system does not generate the sort of anti-Japan fervor that led to public demonstrations this month, Chinese officials say.
Despite criticism from Japan and China observers overseas, officials from the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday and Wednesday that Chinese students learn in their history lessons to love their country but not to hate Japan.
Media are also not to blame, the officials said.
"Recently I read an argument that(anti-Japan sentiment) is a consequence of incorrect conveyance of information about Japan in textbooks and the media," one official said."This is purely baseless and groundless to say that China is engaged in anti-Japan education."
A spotlight is turning on Chinese textbooks as outsiders look for causes behind a string of anti-Japan demonstrations that began April 9.
Demonstrators criticized Japan for approving revisions to school textbooks that whitewash Japan's aggression of China between 1931 and 1945.
More than 58 million Chinese teens study the Japanese occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s, as part of regular Chinese history courses.
The material is presented in a way that promotes memorization for standardized exams.
Most university students do not need to study Sino-Japanese history unless it is part of a related academic major.
According to statements by the Education Ministry, China promotes"patriotic education," which covers Marxism, the ideology of Mao Zedong and a review of the nation's accomplishments.
It also calls for rejecting foreign ideologies. But it does not nurture hate for other countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
"Patriotic education is not anti-Japan education," Qin said."We do not want young people to hate Japan."
Mou Jianmin, a Chinese media consultant and former education magazine editor in Beijing, said media are more to blame than textbooks for anti-Japan sentiment.
Young Chinese do not understand the subtleties of Japanese politics or society, the left-right political spectrum or the separation between government and people, he said.
"They need to be told Japan and the Japanese people are not the same," he said.
(Source: China Daily)