Should teachers be punished for not following government regulations requiring the singing of ‘Kimigayo’?


Christine Bullard
Art teacher, 27
I think that it should be teacher’s choice. If the kids do it in first grade, second grade, third grade, they’re going to keep doing it. To be fined is ridiculous. Teachers should be independent thinkers.

Kiyo Tanaka
Illustrator, 32
The teachers shouldn’t have to do what the Tokyo government says. It’s a move to make people become more nationalistic so I feel quite worried about that.

Nami Hayashida
Teacher, 34
If they don’t want to, it should be OK, but I don’t mind singing it. I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to sing it. Just because we lost the war, it’s still important to know your culture.

Ayturk Demirel
Finance, 28
I don’t see if there is a point singing the anthem or not. Nationalism isn’t something that can be imposed by singing an anthem. It’s just the government fooling themselves.

Mark Hathoway
IT executive, 39
I think it should be compulsory, but institutionally, not legally enforced. In kids’ formative years, national pride should be encouraged. Children need to learn it and teachers have to set an example.

Robin Colomb
Translator, 27
I understand the need to foster a collective feeling in the current system, but it’s like the things they were doing before the war and I don’t think Japan needs that right now.