Education measure, the first change to Japan's main education law since 1947, calls on schools to "to cultivate an attitude that respects tradition and culture, that loves the nation and home country."The new education law will allow children to acquire a good understanding of their heritage and become intelligent and dignified Japanese," ruling party lawmaker Hiroo Nakashima said during the upper house debate.Critics, however, attacked the move as harkening back to Japan's war-era education system, in which children were instructed to support the country's imperialist military and sacrifice themselves for the emperor and nation.
Opponents on Friday voiced fears that the changes could lead to schools grading students on their patriotic fervor -- possibly as a prelude to making Japan an aggressive nation once again.
"The government is putting the future of Japanese children at risk and turning Japan into a country that wages war abroad," said Ikuko Ishii, a Communist Party lawmaker.
The call for more patriotism in the schools coincides with a push by some local governments to crack down on teachers and students who refuse to stand for the national flag or sing an anthem to the emperor at school ceremonies.
Let's teach patriotism at the expense of freedom of speech and freedom of association, since neither of those qualify as patriotism. In fact, maybe they should bring back the loyalty oath. Another good idea.