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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 22 - 28  > Teaching children 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education is inappropriate: education minister
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2017 February 22 - 28 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Teaching children 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education is inappropriate: education minister

February 24, 2017
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Miyamoto Takeshi grilled the Abe government on February 23 regarding the fact that a private school corporation with close ties with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s wife has children recite the prewar Imperial Rescript on Education. The education minister acknowledged that such a practice is “inappropriate”.

An Osaka-based school corporation, Moritomo Gakuen, which purchased state land in Osaka’s Toyonaka City in 2016 at a giveaway low price, plans to open an elementary school there this coming April. The prime minister’s wife, Abe Akie, serves as “honorary principal” of the new school. A kindergarten which the corporation operates in Osaka City has children recite the Imperial Rescript on Education every morning.

At the Lower House Budget Committee session, JCP Miyamoto revealed that Moritomo Gakuen has a policy of educating schoolchildren based on the Imperial rescript. Citing the fact that successive Japanese governments have consistently opposed the use of the militaristic slogans and jingoism since the end of World War II, Miyamoto urged the Education Ministry to direct the school operator to abandon its ultra-rightist education policy.

Education Minister Matsuno Hirokazu said in response, “In general, it’s not appropriate to use the Imperial rescript as a teaching material.”

The Imperial Rescript on Education was promulgated by the Emperor Meiji in 1890. That edict, instructing Japanese subjects to sacrifice their lives for the Emperor in case of national emergency, worked as a prop for Japan’s militaristic education prior to and during WWII. In 1948, it was officially abrogated as it was totally inconsistent with the spirit of the postwar Constitution.

* * *

The defense minister awarded a certificate of appreciation to the chairman of Moritomo Gakuen, Akahata reported on February 24.

In October 2016, Defense Minister Inada Tomomi gave the minister’s certificate of appreciation to the school corporation chair, Kagoike Yasunori, on the grounds that his organization has contributed to boosting the morale of members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. The kindergarten run by his educational corporation has often had children take part in events hosted by the Maritime SDF.

In reply to an Akahata inquiry, Kagoike said that he and Inada are acquaintances of long standing.

Past related article:
> Far-right wing school corporation collects donations under name of ‘Abe Shinzo’ [February 17, 2017]
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