A citizens' group opposed to the government's adoption of the Hinomaru as the national flag and "Kimigayo" as the anthem has posted two sarcastic alternatives in awkward English of the song on its Web site, ruffling the feathers of officials and conservative lawmakers.

The group "hopes the lyrics can become a small pillar for those who do not want to sing the song but are forced to sing it" at school ceremonies, the Web site says.

On Monday, the conservative daily Sankei Shimbun slammed the renditions as an attempt to subvert the national anthem.