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Pre-war ideology for school children in Japan


12-09-2016 14:21 BJT

Japan committed countless crimes against humanity during World War II. However, many in the country still glorify Japan's military past instead of reflecting on its brutal history.

In Tsukamoto kindergarten, children aged three to five years old sing the national anthem in front of the Japanese flag every morning. They're also instructed to recite the pre-war Imperial Rescript on Education, which was a key part of Japan's old military education system. Students also take trips to military bases.

The kindergarten plans to open a primary school next year. Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will be the new establishment's honorary principal. This raises concern among some experts. 

"Having Abe Akie as the honorary principal of this new school, which is going to be so authentically pre-1945, the building itself is going to look like it was made in the 1920s," said Professor Michael Cucek, Japan Studies of Temple University.

"This kind of recapturing or re-assimilation of the pre-war ideological world is something that is, for me, very surprising that Mr Abe would be involved in it."

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