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Breaking a long-standing political taboo, the Lower House, by a vote of 403-86, approved a bill Thursday to legally recognize the Hinomaru as the national flag and “Kimigayo” as the anthem.

In addition to broad support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its junior coalition partner, the Liberal Party, and New Komeito, nearly half the members of the Democratic Party of Japan are believed to have voted for the government-proposed bill.

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