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Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura is a perfect example of the sort of people that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stacked his Cabinet with: ultra-nationalists who would like to take Japan back to the kind of country it was during World War II.

In the Jan. 4 article, “Foes of female reign bask in prince’s birth,” Shimomura is quoted as saying, “For 125 generations over the past 2,000 years, the male paternal line has been unbroken and I believe we should make efforts to maintain this culture and history.” But according to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Japan’s early history is lost in legend. The divine design of the empire — supposedly founded in 660 B.C. by Emperor Jinmu, a lineal descendant of the sun goddess and ancestor of the present emperor — was held as official dogma until 1945. Actually, reliable records date back only to about A.D. 400.

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