Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Kanagawa Prefecture Education Board goes Blinky

A few years ago, the rightist bigot and Tokyo governor Shintaro "Blinky" Ishihara got Tokyo prefecture to attempt to force all school teachers to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Many object to this as they remember the role of teachers in WW2 in helping the state instill jingoism and obedience to the emperor in students. Blinky and the Tokyo government have lost court decisions challenging the legality of this order, but they are appealing it.

Kanagawa prefecture, the home of a politician who became a little controversial among the foreign residents (like Ishihara, his remarks/beliefs didn't cause much of a reaction among the native-born citizens) who said that ALL non-Japanese in the prefecture were criminals and who refused to apologize or retract his statement, has an Education Board that wants to step up to the plate and punish citizens who disagree with its stance:

The Kanagawa prefectural education board decided Monday to continue collecting the names of teachers who refuse to stand when the "Kimigayo" national anthem is sung in school ceremonies, board officials said.

The board's decision defies a recommendation by a prefectural panel on protection of personal information that it stop the practice.

"It's undesirable there are such school staff members who don't stand (to sing the anthem), as enrollment and graduation ceremonies are important events," said Takaichi Hikichi, head of the education board. More here.

Blinky, "Beautiful Country" Abe, "Comic Book" Aso, and I assume "Barcode-head" Fujiwara must all be panting, giggling, and blinking rapidly with delirious glee.

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