A ruling coalition task force agreed Wednesday on a bill to revise the Fundamental Law of Education after a compromise was reached on the definition of patriotism.
The bill defines patriotism as “an attitude which respects tradition and culture, loves the nation and homeland that have fostered them, and contributes to international peace and development.”
The definition, proposed by Tadamori Oshima, head of the panel tasked with drafting revisions to the law, is a compromise between his Liberal Democratic Party and coalition ally New Komeito.
LDP members wanted the bill to say only that patriotism is “a mind which loves the nation,” while New Komeito members favored “a mind which treasures the nation,” arguing that the word “loves” gave the impression of the kind of nationalism seen here in the 1930s and 1940s.
If the bill passes, it will mark a turning point in the postwar education system as the first revisions since the law was enacted in 1947. The law puts emphasis on individual dignity and personal values, but the bill will introduce such principles as patriotism and the importance of education at home.
The ruling bloc will adopt the bill Thursday at a meeting of secretaries general and policy chiefs. It will then be sent to the Cabinet for endorsement in early May, sources said.