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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 21 - 27  > State interference in school education and Nippon Kaigi
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2018 March 21 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

State interference in school education and Nippon Kaigi

March 21, 2018
The revelation that the Ministry of Education made inquiries regarding a school lecture given by an ex-education ministry bureaucrat who had exposed the ministry's dishonesty in connection with the "Kake Gakuen" has been attracting public attention in conjunction with the ongoing allegations about the falsification of "Moritomo Gakuen"-related official documents.

The Education Ministry early this month demanded that the Nagoya Municipal Board of Education, Aichi Prefecture, give all the details of the open lecture at a Nagoya City-owned junior high school (Feb. 16) by former top official of the Education Ministry Maekawa Kihei who was the guest lecturer. The ministry even demanded that the local school board submit video recordings.

Education Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa held a press conference on March 20 and reiterated that the ministry had made inquiries "just to confirm the facts".

Behind the scenes leading to this inquiry are two Liberal Democratic Party members of the Diet. They directly pressured the ministry into censoring the contents of Maekawa's talk. Of significance is that they are both members of the parliamentary league for the ultra-rightist Nippon Kaigi.

The person who first asked the ministry about Maekawa's lecture is Akaike Masaaki, an LDP member of the House of Councilors and the head of the LDP education and science panel. He serves as a deputy secretary-general of the Nippon Kaigi parliamentary league and is also a right-hand man of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

When the Nippon Kaigi held an assembly celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2007, Akaike sent a congratulatory message. He in the message said that there are two types of politicians: One who sees prewar history as evil and one who values the traditions and customs of the world's oldest unified country, Japan. He then said that the latter brings about a prosperous, safe future to the country and the happiness to the people. This retrogressive lawmaker went on to say that Japanese spirit and values as best represented by the Imperial Rescript on Education have been inherited up to today and that these should be the foundation of the country in order to form the backbone of the country's next century and to foster Japanese people with a sense of public morality.

Ikeda Yoshitaka, a deputy head of the LDP education and science panel, reportedly told the ministry what questions to ask the school board.

Past related articles:
> JCP criticizes Education Ministry for pressuring local board of education to act as informant [March 17, 2018]
> Education Ministry exerts pressure on public junior high school in Nagoya [March 17, 2018]

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