Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

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Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by mamba » Tue 12.26.2006 1:10 am

I did a search and I dont think I saw this posted yet. Anyway:

"TOKYO, Dec. 15 -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government on Friday successfully pushed through landmark laws requiring Japanese schools to encourage patriotism in the classroom and elevating the Defense Agency to the status of a full ministry for the first time since World War II."

Then the article continues to say that "local municipalities have begun enforcing laws requiring the national anthem to be sung and the Japanese flag flown at certain school ceremonies." Just like what we do in highschools here in US.

Then at the end of the article it goes: "Abe has called for the full redrafting of a new constitution that would allow Japan to officially possess a flexible military again," as a result of North Korean's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Full article:

[Link fixed -Paul]
Last edited by mamba on Tue 12.26.2006 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by paul_b » Tue 12.26.2006 3:22 am

Moved into the right forum.

Anybody repling to this please be careful not to go into your politics.

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by zengargoyle » Tue 12.26.2006 4:55 am

lol, i don't know how such a thing can be discussed without reference to politics...

but, just as giving the benefit of a doubt to the 51% vs 49% should have kept the U.S. on the right path into the future (yet somehow failed miserably...), maybe giving the same benefit to the Japanese Political World may give the opposite effect, maybe it's time for Japan to take their future into their own hands... the end of WWII is over, generations are passing, any sort of "leave the protection of your nation to the great world power of another country" ideal is foolish. i only hope that the Japanese idea of 'government by the people' comes out ahead of the U.S. idea of the same.... in the end, it's probably just like a flip of a coin, there's a 50/50 chance that whatever happens is a good thing.

anyway, anytime you are pondering things that relate to the perceptions nations have between other nations... then the topic is politics. it's unavoidable.

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by paul_b » Tue 12.26.2006 5:01 am

zengargoyle wrote:
lol, i don't know how such a thing can be discussed without reference to politics...
Well it must be theoretically possible to talk about Japanese politics without getting into _your_ politics. Probably. I guess. :D

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by caroline » Tue 12.26.2006 9:32 am

It does seem rethorical, to speak of one country's politics without referring to _yours_, since it's one world.
The japanese question is more to have or not their own atomic weapons, than a full fledged Department of Defense - except that the present Secretary of the Agency would go full Minister - or army (which it already is, bar the name).
There is discussion here - in France - as to whether or not it would be in the interest of Japan to have its own nuclear bombs. The logical pro is what Zen said, the feeling that it is time now to recover full independance.
The cons are that to have its own nuclear weapons makes Japan both a threat in a geographical zone quite sensitive to Japan power, and a target, as having nuclear weapons on its territory. So, to keep the american umbrella makes sense. But it is quite difficult for Shinzo Abe to backpedal on this, after the statements he already made.
As for the patriotic hyms at school, it's quite foreign to our culture, so I won't comment.
Last edited by caroline on Tue 12.26.2006 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by HeyItsMatt » Tue 12.26.2006 2:14 pm

Just wanted to share some of my thoughts -

I think this is an interesting topic because it kind of mirrors trends in the United States of late. There seems to be an increase in nationalism in the US lately. I'm generally suspicious when it comes to that kind of thing, but at the same time I *hope* that in the U.S. it won't lead to fascism or anything too destructive, due to our sense of individualism, civil liberties, history of democracy, etc.

This leads me to Japan - I'm no expert in Japanese culture, but it seems to me they have certain tendencies that might be less of a safegaurd against authoritarianism (like more of a heirarchical society, where you have to defer to authority more and behave in certain ways based on who you are around). Also, they haven't had nearly as much democratic history as the U.S.

One line in particular I thought was kind of disturbing: "...rebuild national pride in a country that had long associated patriotism with its imperialist past." This seems a little unlike the U.S., where many very "patriotic" people seem to either regret or deny our imperialist past. Maybe the article's off the mark though?

Anyone think that these patriotism laws are a bad sign for Japan, or is this something that's happened before and it's just a matter of who's in power at the moment?

Also, just in case, I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes :)

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RE: Japan Passes Patriotism Laws

Post by Harisenbon » Tue 12.26.2006 8:33 pm

Shinzo Abe to backpedal on this, after the statements he already made.
This statements were one of the main reasons he was brought into power. To show a strong face against N.Korea and the rest of the world.

There's been talk (in my household, and with people I know) whether or not this is a bunch of talk in order to make N.Korea and other countries (ok, mainly N.K) back off. But I have personal fears that he is actually going to attempt to go through with the things he says. The patriotism in schools can be seen as both a good thing (reinstill belief and love of Japan in it's young citizens) and a bad thing (a harkening back to pre-war Japan). Thinking about how it will eventually bear out makes me stand on pins and needles.

And that's all I can say without getting into personal politics.
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