International Update

School Patriotism Law Postponed in Japan

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan has postponed its campaign to require schools to emphasize patriotism.

Japan’s national course of study includes lessons that instill “love of country,” but conservative politicians have been pushing to have that language written into the education law.

Although the curriculum does not dictate how teachers should meet the mandate, some school districts have called for pledges and songs of allegiance to the Japanese flag, according to Hiroshi Kamiyo, the education attaché to the Japanese Embassy in Washington.

The Tokyo metropolitan board of education, for example, reprimanded several teachers last year after they refused to sing the national anthem, which pays homage to the emperor.

Critics say such practices are reminiscent of the nationalism that fueled Japanese militarism and helped lead to World War II.

Vol. 24, Issue 27, Page 12

Published in Print: March 16, 2005, as School Patriotism Law Postponed in Japan

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