Critics have mounted protests over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies, including his support for a controversial imperial edict. Photo: AFP
politics

Anger, confusion as Japan revives militaristic edict

73 Comments
by harumi ozawa

Japan's century-old imperial proclamation urging people to be willing to die for the emperor was consigned to history books until video surfaced showing children in an Osaka kindergarten enthusiastically reciting it.

A cabinet decision allowing schools to teach the long-banished edict, which was used to promote militarism in the 1930s and 1940s, has delighted hardcore nationalists but left many Japanese scratching their heads.

Others were horrified at the sight of youngsters chanting the archaic proclamation, even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie, praised them during a visit to the school, run by a nationalist seeking to inculcate pupils with pre-war values.

The once-revered Imperial Rescript on Education, issued in 1890, was abolished after Japan's World War II defeat at the hands of the U.S. over concerns it had contributed to creating a militaristic culture.

It exhorted citizens to "offer yourselves courageously to the State" so as to "guard and maintain the prosperity of Our Imperial Throne".

The edict "functioned as a mechanism to strike down people's individual rights," said Kenji Ishikawa, a law professor at Tokyo University.

But Abe and his fellow conservatives have sought to stealthily bring it back into vogue, as part of a bid to revive traditional values that have lost their shine following the introduction of an American-penned pacifist constitution which renounces war and designates the emperor as a figurehead.

"Japan should not just be an economic power but a country respected and relied on in the world for its high ethical views and morality," Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said last week.

Some constitutional scholars have expressed concern over the government's attempt to expose impressionable minds to a document with "fanatic and cult-like" leanings.

Sota Kimura, a law professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, said the revival appeared to be a sop to nationalists who "feel terribly humiliated about the post-war system imposed by the Allies".

Members of Abe's cabinet, including Inada, have regularly sought to appease the government's conservative base with nationalist gestures, such as paying homage at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where senior convicted war criminals are honored.

The edict was once considered so sacred that school principals who accidentally disrespected the document would commit suicide out of shame or fear of punishment, according to some accounts.

A copy of it was kept in a special cabinet in schools where children were forced to bow before it.

But the clumsily managed revival has left many Japanese confused over the 19th-century edict's relevance to their hectic 21st-century lives. Its archaic wording means most Japanese today have neither read it nor know how to interpret it.

"I'm not really clear what it is," said Yoshiko Yamanaka, a 48-year-old mother of two, when asked about the document.

"It's got something to do with having to serve the state for the emperor, or something, right?"

Others who are more familiar with its content say it has no place in a modern society where all citizens are deemed equal.

"It's nonsense to bring it back now," said Kazushi Tamura, 54. "Some people say it contains some good moral values like respecting family, friends and parents... But all of them end up telling people to serve the emperor."

Abe's government has tried to play down the issue, saying it is not mandatory for schools to teach the edict and that any lessons involving it must not "go against the constitution".

But even conservative media who usually support Abe's agenda have drawn a line.

"It is clear that a national view centered around the emperor cannot be viable under the current constitution," the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun daily said in an editorial.

Although this has done little to dampen the fervor expressed by ultra-nationalists, the reception suggests they are out of step with much of Japanese society as well as the country's widely admired emperor.

Emperor Akihito, 83, is the first Japanese monarch to assume the Chrysanthemum Throne without enjoying the semi-divine status accorded to his forefathers and he has embraced his symbolic role.

He is also credited with seeking reconciliation both at home and abroad over the legacy of the war fought in his father's name, venturing to locales that saw intense fighting and offering prayers for the souls of all the dead.

© AFP

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73 Comments
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This problem could be solved very easily. All it would take is for the current Emperor Akihito to denounce it's use. While he's still Emperor. I am sure he would not want the same thing that happened to his father to happen now; nationalists using the throne for their own ends.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Was this at Moritomo kindergarten? If so, why not clearly name it?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

the state and the emperor are supposed to serve the people - not the other way around....

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Sadly without real leadership now, a future aggressive Japan is probably the only future awaiting these kids after the demographic cliff of the 2020's makes everything they make only in support of the elderly services and the country's debts

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am disappointed in the Japanese in general that their is not wide outrage about this. People should be marching in the streets showing how much they (all of us!) have changed. That there is barely a peep about this in public denotes the docile nature of the average Japanese citizen; willing to have their very existence taken from them and their children to further someone else's egotistical cause/s.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Japan should not just be an economic power but a country respected and relied on in the world for its high ethical views and morality," Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said last week. Morality? You speak of high ethics and morality? Damn what a hypocrite. She is blinded by her own rhetoric.

It is clear that a national view centered around the emperor cannot be viable under the current constitution," the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun daily said in an editorial. So, this is double speak for, "When the current constitution gets changed, these views will become viable once again!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is sick. We should be teaching children that we need to learn to get along with others not brainwashing them with nationalist propaganda.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

This was predictable even back in 1945. It was a mistake to have left Hirohito on the throne.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

In people eyes around the world would see Japanese morals are anicent and out date and would not apply to todays world, E.G Japanese gaol citizens for smoking pot. Japans acceptance of refugees is very poor. It is impossible to became a Japan citizen if not born to a Japanese parent in Japan. These three points are human rights abuse. Let look at Japan reaction to this latest NK problem. Japan first sent Destroyers then made plans for evaution nationals. Japan are a SDF, so priority should be to protect it citizen first to protect a Battle group. If Japan Government think that they are a good repectable model international citizen, their wrong. Japan still have a problem with imperialism among the elite, and the points above.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

M3M3M3 Today 08:27 am JST This was predictable even back in 1945. It was a mistake to have left Hirohito on the throne.

No it wasn't. Japan would have collapsed and the Soviets would have crossed into Hokkaido and marched southward resulting in a North Japan/South Japan just like we have on the Korean Peninsula. If you believe for a moment that the post war and present Imperial Throne have anything to do with these nationalists you don't have the right picture. Try reading the complete history of Japan and you'll see that for most of it the authority of the throne has been used by military rulers to dominate the country, the last having produced WWII.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

OssanAmerica - thats a huge Maybe ! Hirohito was actually left on the throne to keep the J-public docile. If you read Macarthur's autobio written by him, He was actually going to order him to be put to death as many Allies wanted. He should have been forced to retire from the throne and the whole system taken down.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Bertie - Very true. Good point that I am always trying to tell people. We need to teach children more about getting alone, treating each other with respect and helping each other.

M3M3M3 - While part of me agrees with you, I do believe that at the time they felt it was necessary for the brain washed citizen of Japan at the time to not go suicidal and it helped ease the relationship between the two countries as well. The USA wanted to have Japan as an ally against the ex-Soviet Union and China and didn't like the idea of a Communist Eastern Asia if memory serves me right of my history lessons.

Does anyone have the verses to this? I believe that would really help us to get some perspective. I have not seen them, so I really can't say if they are bad or not. A few Japanese have told me that it is not what people are making it out to sound like.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A major MacArthur mistake was not making English at least a second official language. At least. Half of Japanese problems would not exist. The general public would get news from abroad, read it, & compare & analyze. Now few can do that.

At every turn the government pulls the wool over peoples eyes and get away with it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It is impossible to became a Japan citizen if not born to a Japanese parent in Japan.

No it's not. There even a story just in the past week where a person not born to Japanese parents became Japanese: https://japantoday.com/category/entertainment/u-s-born-singer-chris-hart-obtains-japanese-citizenship

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Imperial Rescript on Education predates the constitution and therefore isn't part of the law or modern Japan. It's a form of enslavement bending the will of the people to the will of an emperor. Enslavement of the spirit, mind and body. In the modern world there's no place for kings, queens and emperors. The head of state should be elected by the people not by history.

The Imperial Rescript on Education

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Broken and misfunctioning text editor is becoming a real pain in the....

The Imperial Rescript on Education http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/about/6.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Imagine if a similar thing happened in Germany today. Shame on Japan for letting this thing continue.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Is this Japan or North Korea? Lately I can't tell the difference....

6 ( +9 / -3 )

lonelygaijin2001 Today 09:05 am JST OssanAmerica - thats a huge Maybe !

Maybe? You haven't noticed that the Soviets invaded and occupied the Southern Kuriles even after Japan accepted Unconditional Surrender?

Hirohito was actually left on the throne to keep the J-public docile.

What do you think keeping Japan from collapsing means? Avoiding civil war or any disruption that would allow the USSR to step in. Keep them "docile"? You think they could be anything other than docile by 1945?

If you read Macarthur's autobio written by him, He was actually going to order him to be put to death as many Allies wanted. He should have been forced to retire from the throne and the whole system taken down.

Total hogwash. Some other Allied nations wanted Hirohito tried as a War Criminal. MacArthur, responsible for keeping Japam intact and preventing Soviet advacement was against this. From Douglas MacArthurs autobiography describing his first meeting with Hirohito: "I offered him an American cigarette, which he took with thanks. I noticed how his hands shook as I lighted it for him. I tried to make it as easy for him as I could, but I knew how deep and dreadful must be his agony of humiliation. I had an uneasy feeling he might plead his own cause against indictment as a war criminal. There had been considerable outcry from some of the Allies, notably the Russians and the British, to include him in this category. Indeed, the initial list of those proposed by them was headed by the Emperor's name. Realizing the tragic consequences that would follow such an unjust action, I had stoutly resisted such efforts. When Washington seemed to be veering toward the British point of view, I had advised that I would need at least one million reinforcements should such action be taken. I believed that if the Emperor were indicted, and perhaps hanged, as a war criminal, military government would have to be instituted throughout all Japan, and guerrilla warfare would probably break out. The Emperor's name had then been stricken from the list. But of all this he knew nothing."

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Could anyone out there tell me more than the story about the "cabinet decision"? Surely that is the story, not what happens at the madhouse that is Moritomo Gakuen. It is hardly representative of pre-schools throughout Japan, where kids are not taught to say "Abe So-ri! Banzai!" and other such nonsense. What does "allowing schools to teach" mean? That they are going to be encouraged to teach it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok lets put aside on one hand accusations of "sabre rattling" on the other of sitting in ashes "woe is our world". Abe has made a clear statement with the Nationalist school and the video-The Japanese must prepare and be prepared to defend their country. Trump aside, do not depend on the US, the American people have had enough with being the police force of the world. This holds true for Europe as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wait a minute, is this the SAME school that we are all too aware of? Because I'm pretty sure I've seen the video in question months ago. I hope the Emperor, or the next one, would come out and denounce this. It might just save people's lives.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

2017 and the grumpy old men in charge want to recreate 1817 to justify their own miserable lives.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The execution of emperor Hirohito wasn't about preventing the Russians invading Japan, which wouldn't have happened. Russia and Japan and others were broken countries so why would Russia want to even invade. The emperor wasn't executed for the sake of the people.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

zichi Today 10:49 am JST The execution of emperor Hirohito wasn't about preventing the Russians invading Japan, which wouldn't have happened. Russia and Japan and others were broken countries so why would Russia want to even invade.

The USSR a "broken country" that wouldn't invade??? Here is a list of countries invaded and occupied by the USSR from 1940 to 1945, Northern Iran 1941–1946,Hungary (1944)Romania (1944)Bulgaria (1944)Czechoslovakia 1944)Northern Norway 1944–1946 / Bornholm 1945–1946 Germany (1945)8 Austria 1945–1955 Manchuria 1945–1946 Korea 1945–1948 Kuril Islands 1945

3 ( +5 / -2 )

love how they want to see the emperor as god, until god wants something they don't -- like to speak freely or retire.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

While reciting the pledge is controversial, the pacifists are doing japan and asia a disservice by denying this country's right to be a normal country with self-defense duties and regional security obligations. in view of the north korea, nuclear and missile buildup and chinese intransigence in east and southeast asia, and US comitment nowhere firm or clear, pacifism plays directly into the hands of those two dangerous regimes. japan did it wrong in the 30s and 40s, but it does not mean that boosting military preparedness is always wrong, especially here and now.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

MacArthur didn’t execute Hirohito because he decided it would be easier to govern Japan as an occupier with very little resistance providing a veneer of legitimacy in the eyes of the Japanese and would have risked arousing nationalist resistance.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

M3M3M3 Today 08:27 am JST

"This was predictable even back in 1945. It was a mistake to have left Hirohito on the throne."

Another mentioned the Soviets, so I'll concentrate on another point. If the office of emperor had been abolished, a presidency may have been put in its place. You may think that's a good idea, but look at South Korea. It took nearly 40 years to get around as democratic as Japan as the president declared states of emergency becoming a dictator and another got removed in a coup. Constitutional (parliamentary) monarchies are the most stable, followed by parliamentary republics. Semi-presidential teeters. Presidential republics are the most volatile (the US is the only one to not have undergone a coup). Just my 2 yen.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

zichi Today 10:49 am JST The emperor wasn't executed for the sake of the people.

zichi Today 11:40 am JST MacArthur didn’t execute Hirohito because he decided it would be easier to govern Japan as an occupier with very little resistance providing a veneer of legitimacy in the eyes of the Japanese and would have risked arousing nationalist resistance.

So which is it? LOL

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So many comments in here condemning Japanese Imperialism but with heavy Western Imperialist undertones to their post. "We should have done more so-and-so when occupying Japan, then Japan would be SO much better and more like us!". The disgusting lack of self-awareness in here is astounding.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Ossan America

for both, its easy yes. Easier for Mac and better for the people

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"A major MacArthur mistake was not making English at least a second official language. At least. Half of Japanese problems would not exist. " Ironic. That reeks of Imperialism.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@juminRhee "Presidential republics are the most volatile (the US is the only one to not have undergone a coup)."

European countries with a president. France. Germany. Italy. Switzerland. Poland. Greece. Malta. Czech Republic. Iceland. Finland. Cyprus. Romania. Hungary. Ireland, and many more which didn't coups

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

Teach 'of it' to children, don't teach it to children. End of.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh boo hoo!!

Anyone feigning suprise needs to read a good history book. This was always the end game. Not people's wellbeing or the economy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Move over DPRK and ISIS. The imperialistic youth of Japan are coming your way!

"Japan should not just be an economic power but a country respected and relied on in the world for its high ethical views and morality," Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said last week"

Inada is an imperialistic nutcase and shoukd be banned from politics and from ever opening his mouth again!

This new website is so annoying to type on an iPhone!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Disillusioned

I've spent a decade in the middle east growing up and lived in many 3rd world countries and several types of conflict zones. Your comparison of Japanese nationalism to ISIS is ridiculous. Have you have actually ever seen what real militarism and conflict zones are like? Or do you read about it in western media and then make judgements on that?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@nostromo

You say "the state and the emperor are suppossed to serve the people, not the other way around!"

Actually in Japan we are subjects and subjective to the god like emperor and we are to serve him! Read about it.

I'm just sayin...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This was always the end game. Not people's wellbeing or the economy.

Actually, I tend to agree with this. If you think from the perspective of the defeated leaders of the IJA, they had lost face in a big way. They always wanted the return of old Japan and they are finally getting it. You can see it hiding in many aspects of Japanese society if you care to honestly look.

Japan got off too easily after the war (in an administrative sense). The Emperor was a major proponent of the war, and as such should have been punished (politics or not). Looks like Japan will have to suffer again (maybe more than last time), as they are heading down the same route.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Thank you stranger for pointing out this case, But weighting up this case to the cases of Japan/Brazil refusal is showing a picky and a unfair attitude. Showing compassion would show the world that you are a good international citizen. The Entertainer was base on status. This show a elite attitude toward citizenship. I am of the think of compassion overrules status. Like if a ship is going down I would say Women and children first were you by pointing out this one case as a example may lean towards Status first women and children last.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

See those angry native faces refusing to be a fodder meat for inhumane politicians? Those are my faces. Except not native.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if a ship is going down I would say Women and children first were you by pointing out this one case as a example

I pointed out a single case, but it happens every day. The majority of people who apply to become Japanese citizens are successful:

In 2010, for example, 13,072 were recognized as naturalized citizens and 234 were rejected. Of those approved, 6,600 were North or South Korean nationals and about 5,000 were Chinese.

Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/12/27/reference/many-angles-to-acquiring-japanese-citizenship/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is nothing noble in dying for one's faith, country, or emperor, period. Your life is the only thing which you alone own, and it is beyond price. It is much better to live for things than do die for them, life is too short as it is.

As George Patton said, The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

One of the main reasons the Japanese lost the war was because they valued their own lives less than they valued their country and emperor. As such, rather than use the lives of their young men as sparingly and effectively as possible, these young lives were expended more freely than bullets and bombs. The human cost of operations and attacks was deemed irrelevant, and the cost of victories was often worse than the cost of defeats. When the end was inevitable, and surrender unavoidable, the fighting continued. And it was this fatally-flawed belief that it was acceptable to throw one's life away for an idea or figurehead which caused hundreds of thousands of needless deaths.

There was no punishment MacArthur or the allies could inflict on the emperor worse than the knowledge that misguided belief in him led to the deaths of countless of his subjects. Every death which occurred in his name was a stain of blood upon his hands. The surrender was "unendurable" because it meant the immense loss of life was pointless.

What before had been seen as honorable, the giving of one's life for one's country and emperor was seen for what it really was, a dishonorable. Just like the poor fools crashing planes into buildings, or detonating suicide belts at weddings or in churches or mosques. The belief that it is okay to sacrifice your life or another's for an ideology is unacceptable.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Exactly! And if anyone thinks it is courageous to simply give your life over to Emperor and state without asking the 'why's' and 'wherefores'; I say you are a coward for not being around to help your family. Further, you could help your state much, much more by putting pressure back on it NOT to sacrifice the lives of young, clueless men and women (and civilians). It is the much harder route to take, but if you truly have courage... something lacking in the world today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"A major MacArthur mistake was not making English at least a second official language. At least. Half of Japanese problems would not exist. The general public would get news from abroad, read it, & compare & analyze. Now few can do that."

Congratulations, you're a true imperialist yourself.

You all complain about imperialism, but do not realize your own actions. What happened to being neutral for once? What happened to research on your own? That is all I ask, to read before you utter something, yet I get minused down on this site every time.

You see a topic in the news, and instantly believe it. It is genuinely frightening to see hordes of uncritical minds on social medias "liking"/supporting views that are obviously intentionally designed to raise voices against or for a cause. You never actually try to understand the other side. Every day in the comment section I see these people. Every day I see people using words as "they should" this, "they should" that. Don't you realize that this is the exact same thing as what you're fighting against? Not everyone shares your opinion. Not everyone would like to live in a Western style country with Western "values".

Sickening to see how you believe that the West is, and has always been, the "hero" and that everyone else comes behind. Sickening to see how you think that everyone not sharing your view are stupid and should be imprisoned, removed and whatnot. /rant of the day

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil and be tolerant of opposing views.

There's a rise in nationalism all across the world, and Japan seems to be another country riding the crest of that rather unpleasant wave.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So whats after showa(shining peace) and heisei(become [level, even]) ?

These kanji are tricky and easily turn into opposites. Instead of focusing on vested politicians, does the next imperial have an opinion?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi - Thanks for the posting. Here is what it says. . .

Know ye, Our subjects:

Our Imperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad and everlasting and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue; Our subjects ever united in loyalty and filial piety have from generation to generation illustrated the beauty thereof. This is the glory of the fundamental character of Our Empire, and herein also lies the source of Our education. Ye, Our subjects, be filial to your parents, affectionate to your brothers and sisters; as husbands and wives be harmonious, as friends true; bear yourselves in modesty and moderation; extend your benevolence to all; pursue learning and cultivate arts, and thereby develop intellectual faculties and perfect moral powers; furthermore advance public good and promote common interests; always respect the Constitution and observe the laws; should emergency arise, offer yourselves courageously to the State; and thus guard and maintain the prosperity of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth. So shall ye not only be Our good and faithful subjects, but render illustrious the best traditions of your forefathers. The Way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and the subjects, infallible for all ages and true in all places. It is Our wish to lay it to heart in all reverence, in common with you, Our subjects, that we may thus attain to the same virtue.

The 30th day of the 10th month of the 23rd year of Meiji.

There are a lot of good values in it that should be taught. Now, don't misunderstand. I am not saying that the whole thing is good. I do find the history of it, eh Empire and the Imperial Throne being mentioned quite objectionable, so how about this. Rewrite it! Then all are happy. We do need to instill some good morals in our children, instead of nationalism. Can't stand nationalism being taught in school or observed at ANY events. We are all proud of where we come from.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What happened to being neutral for once? What happened to research on your own

@Karaguchi - You assume that because we don't agree with you, that we didn't research on our own? So, YOU researched but WE didn't? How do you know?

You might need to ask yourself the very question that you posed to us. . .

What happened to being neutral for once?

I sure did not see that coming from you in your rant at us.

I get minused down on this site every time.

So do I. So what of it? My opinions are not liked most of the time either, but that is to be expected when you make comments, so no worries. Like the old saying goes, "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen."

You see a topic in the news, and instantly believe it.

uncritical minds on social medias "liking"/supporting views 

You never actually try to understand the other side. 

Comments like these are assuming way too much and are incorrect. You feel this way, just because we dont agree with you, however, you might try as you just said . . .

Not everyone shares your opinion. 

EXACTLY. Not every shares your opinion EITHER. So, relax and try to understand the other side as you have said others don't.

Sickening to see how you believe that the West is, and has always been, the "hero" and that everyone else comes behind.

Nobody has ever said that. That is another assumption on your part, and it is a very incorrect assumption that you might want to think about a lot more before you say that again. It is a misunderstanding on your part.

Sickening to see how you think that everyone not sharing your view are stupid and should be imprisoned, removed and whatnot.

When did THAT happen? Who said that? I see you as the one making a lot of assumptions! But is it not YOU who thinks that those who don't agree with you are stupid because they have not researched anything that they are talking about.

rant of the day

Yes, I would consider that a rant. I hope that in the future you will keep your points on topic instead of assumptions about people who dont agree with you.

Respectfully. Have a great day.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@sandiegoluv

The reason I believe people never research is the fact that people tend to go on and on without any example to show for. You see smithinjapan talking about the worship of the Emperor as a 'God'. When you dont even know the difference between God and Kami, how can you possibly contribute and understand such topics? And no, it is not just him.

I constantly see 'war criminals' as a term, but can you say that the trials were legitimate when a man such as Yamashita Tomoyuki was sentenced to death for atrocities? Says something of the revenge driven and rushed trials that were held.

I never deny atrocities, but try to have a neutral view and find the truth. Some think that Westerners have it, but I believe otherwise (e.g. we are still taught the 'America stopped the war and was a hero' story. Until some days ago, we were still taught that Allied forces did first discover Nazi Germany camps upon actually arriving there. Google 'Allied forces knew about concentration camps'. If one were to claim this before, nobody would believe, but the truth is there).

The media and education system in the West is just as bad as in Japan or other countries. I just want people to understand that and figure out things on their own.

I dont know how you think I am not neutral. I admit that it is stupid to visit Yasukuni shrine officially, but at the same time I can see that the shrine is misunderstood immensely.

As for the verdict, it is obvious what is trying to be done when a small sentence of an otherwise good text constantly makes the news. I find it strange that people cannot realize it is no different or dangerous than what is being taught in other countries.

Thank you.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

sandiegoluv

you are one of the few who actually read the whole verdict. Thank you.

I agree with you about rewriting it slightly to fit our today.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Stranger: I am opposite to this quote below supporting of Japan going from a SDF to a Nation of arm forces, "Japan should not just be an economic power but a country respected and relied on in the world for its high ethical views and morality," Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said last week". What ethics and morals ? are these the ethical views and good moral of a government. Japan poor women equality, acceptance of Refugee, Public display or ignorance of good international citizen by visiting a shrine which will is very offensive to them, Their continue ignorance of real world history, Their used of their chemical weapons program has a bargaining chip after the war. Japan should only have SDF. They have not earn the international community respect yet and have a bit to do to be allow to go the full arm forces.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Kuraguchi 

sandiegoluv you are one of the few who actually read the whole verdict. Thank you. I agree with you about rewriting it slightly to fit our today.

No it was I who even posted the link. The Rescript can not be rewritten and that is the power of a Rescript. If a pope wrote a Rescript then a future pope can't rewrite it, he can only accept or reject. The current emperor has no authority or probably even desire, to write a Rescript.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie, praised them during a visit to the school, run by a nationalist seeking to inculcate pupils with pre-war values.

Oh wow. WOW. If that she would visit a place like that as the Prime Minister's wife isn't bad enough, she has to weight in with praise also. I find that quite astonishing. She must be mad.

The Nationalists seem to have a serious amnesia about exactly where this kind of rubbish ended up going in WW2. That, or they have so effectively stricken it from the record they are themselves completely ignorant to the history.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@zichi - Which is why I said, "@zichi - Thanks for the posting" My point was not so much about keeping it and rewriting it. Sorry, for not explaining a little more. My point was that maybe they should just write something just as good, without the emperor involved, and teach kids it and have them sing it. That's all.

@Kuraguchi - After reading your last post, I still can not say that you are neutral at all. You seem to enjoy poking someone else in the eye, because yours hurts. You seem to be to willing to throw everyone else under the bus, cause your side is under it. You need to stop and think about what YOUR people did as opposed to what the WEST did. That is for the WEST to do themselves. I have seen this attitude before, and it is not a neutral one. It is one that is looking for vindication for its forefathers behavior by stating that yours were just as bad as mine. But really. . . Who is talking about that except for you? Nobody really .

You see smithinjapan talking about the worship of the Emperor as a 'God'. When you dont even know the difference between God and Kami, how can you possibly contribute and understand such topics?

Once again you are assuming way too much. He is a smart cookie who has been here a long time, just like I have. How could you possibly know what he does and doesn't understand? Just because you are able to give something an excuse does not mean that he, I or anyone else who has a different perspective of things can or will do the same. And it is neither right nor wrong. It is called perspective.

As for bringing up Yamashita Tomoyuki, I have no idea what that or allied troops, Nazis or anything that you have written has to do with THIS conversation. I do see a definite pattern though. The things that you believe about us are just as wild and as inaccurate as what you believe we think about you. I think you really need to learn more about what we REALLY think and leave the assumptions at the door.

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@sandiegoluv

I had no problem with you posting from the provided link and its better at least make some effort to read the Rescript. I was grateful for your @zichi.

My point was that maybe they should just write something just as good, without the emperor involved, and teach kids it and have them sing it. That's all.

Yes I understood what you were saying I just pointed out that a Rescript was written by the emperor and therefore at that time in the history of the country was very powerful. The government would find it difficult to write the same without breeching the constitution.

Personally, I disagree with the Rescript on Education and happy to see it fade into history.

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It's all good zichi! Agreed on all points!! But I personally would love to see some effort done to provide something that teaches better behavior as opposed to patriotism, one's own culture or a love and service for a person or deity.

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The one positive note in this story is how mainstream Japan finds this edict an irrelevant step backward, which is a good sign that it will not be mandated any time soon without much more dramatic cultural shifts that I don't see any reason to predict are coming.

So you need to ask yourself why the mainstream Japanese public are so blazé toward their own emperor. I think the best argument is that it was because the US allowed the Chrysanthemum Throne to continue. Japan has had 72 years since the war with an emperor on the throne and... not a lot has come of it. Life moved on. The emperor hasn't been able to use is magical emperor powers to remove a generation of economic stagnation or stop people from working themselves to death or prevent terrorist attacks by Japanese fanatics against other Japanese people. Though Abe is in power, his far-right movement is culturally fringe and his ability to stay in power largely requires him to conceal his fringe ideas.

Had the emperor been removed, then the rightists would have been able to blame every crisis in Japanese society on his absence. People wouldn't have had the chance to see for themselves that modern societies don't need royalty. A far-right resurgence would be much more likely under such a scenario than the one we see now.

Y'all need to remember that sometimes, the best way to get what you want isn't use force to demand it. Think long term, think of your goals, think beyond that impulse coming from the lizard part of your brain that wants to dominate others for the sake of dominating others.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 It is impossible to became a Japan citizen if not born to a Japanese parent in Japan. 

Really? Where in the world did you ever get this idea? You are greatly mistaken here, I am living proof of that fact, and I can introduce you to many, many, others!

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Stranger: I am opposite to this quote below supporting of Japan going from a SDF to a Nation of arm forces...

I'm not sure why you addressed me with this - I don't see that it has any relation to anything I've said in this thread.

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Katsu78 - Cultural shifts? No one needed that thoughout the previous century. I want to believe that the society is now on a stage higher than THAT time and can stand to political insanity when people sense it, but if that was true this article would not exist in the first place. How many will question this crap when they are told to go fight outside the Japanese islands by some new Hideki Tójó, when he hijacks the government and legitimate authority from less mad legal entities?

To sum up, people are not as stupid as they were before...right? They must not blindly follow the government into whatever questionable adventure it devises. The people go second, the state goes third. The Emperor stands tall in the first place obviously, but that is to no concern here.

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"It is clear that a national view centered around the emperor cannot be viable under the current constitution," the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun daily said in an editorial.

These are weasel words: the Yomiuri constantly advocates changing the constiution to a form which would harmonise with the imperial rescript on education. The LDP also advocate similar changes: a duty to look after family members, duties to the state etc. Under the LDP's version of the constitution rights and freedoms would be replaced with duties and compulsion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There seems to be a rise in ultra-nationalism all around the world, and that saddens me.

As others have commented, the democratic state has as its purpose to serve the people. People can choose to work for the common good, but to swear blind loyalty to a supreme leader is not just undemocratic, but ultimately, suicidal. As others have suggested, it would be very helpful for the current Emperor to renounce this edict.

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I guess some people don't get tired of repeating their mistakes and seeing their country go up in flames.

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karaguchi: "When you dont even know the difference between God and Kami, how can you possibly contribute and understand such topics?"

When you don't even know that 'kami' translates as 'god', why even bother commenting on what people think are differences? Or are you assuming that the word 'god' itself only refers to the Christian god? Do you not think the Hindi word for a god is different than the English word 'god' but is still translated often as simply "a god"? You also need to try and learn a little about sarcasm.

"The media and education system in the West is just as bad as in Japan or other countries. I just want people to understand that and figure out things on their own."

Since you know this as fact, and we do not even bother to research, please explain how, and please don't cite Japanese wikipedia pages.

"I find it strange that people cannot realize it is no different or dangerous than what is being taught in other countries."

So it makes it okay, then, on a rant about what you believe is hypocrisy?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"A major MacArthur mistake was not making English at least a second official language."

How arrogant, imperialist, colonialist statement! In the meantime you are damning the Japanese imperialism.

Double standard.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

" I am opposite to this quote below supporting of Japan going from a SDF to a Nation of arm forces, "Japan should not just be an economic power but a country respected and relied on in the world for its high ethical views and morality," Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said last week". What ethics and morals ? are these the ethical views and good moral of a government. Japan poor women equality, acceptance of Refugee, Public display or ignorance of good international citizen by visiting a shrine which will is very offensive to them, Their continue ignorance of real world history, Their used of their chemical weapons program has a bargaining chip after the war. Japan should only have SDF. They have not earn the international community respect yet and have a bit to do to be allow to go the full arm forces."

Japanesen should not accept "refugees". Especially from very different culture. They will never integrate. See the horrific result in Europe. Awful. Luckily you will not decide who deserves respect and who does not. Regarding the shrine visit, that is not your business. They have right go if they want.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

when the political leaders start demonizing their neighbors, ramping up the rhetoric, changing laws or bending the laws in order to increase military size and deployments, and skirt other laws restricting possession of certain military technology or military units, you have a scenario that exactly parallels what happened preceding both WW1 and WW2.

japan needs to stop this, and the LDP must be held accountable for the increasing frequency of brainwashing and indoctrination of children.

japan does not need hitler youth or more tokkou taiin. war must be avoided at all costs - japan can not win a world war especially if its main enemy is china, a country with vast population resources and sheer military and economic power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is impossible to became a Japan citizen if not born to a Japanese parent in Japan.

This statement is incorrect. A child born outside of Japan by a Japanese parent married to a foreigner is given Japanese citizenship immediately upon submitting an application. I have two to prove it.

Interestingly though, as a British citizen born outside of the UK to British parents in a British Colony I was not afforded the same privilege! In order for me to pass on my citizenship to my children I was forced to travel back to the UK both times for their births. When my two children eventually have children, if they are born outside of the UK they will automatically be granted UK citizenship, but not their children, should they be born outside of the UK. However, I believe that regardless of where any of my future progeny are born, all of them would be granted Japanese citizenship. So in my eyes Japan will stand by my progeny, but the UK will make it as difficult as possible to pass on the same rights to citizenship while it merrily gives anyone without a single drop of British blood citizenship if they have lived there for 5 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anger, confusion

and cabinet support, let's not forget about it...

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