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Whenever I read an article like the June 7 editorial, “Constraint on teachers’ thought,” I always think of the aftermath of the Pacific War, when Japan was reborn from a militaristic country to a nonmilitaristic one. That said, Japan should have made a new national flag and a national anthem while it was at it. If it had done so, maybe we wouldn’t have had all the legal and constitutional hassles that we’ve had so far.

Actually “Kimigayo,” the official national anthem, is out of date not only in content but also in principle: Japan’s sovereignty rests on the Japanese citizen, not the Emperor as before 1945.

I’m afraid that some schoolteachers are too forthcoming. They feel guilty and ashamed of what Japan did before 1945, especially in China, Taiwan, Korea and Southeast Asian countries. Yet one has to admit that every strong country of those days had a dark side behind its national flag and national anthem.

Personally I believe that those who protest orders from authorities to sing the national anthem at graduation ceremonies and the like are more antagonistic toward the anthem itself than its background — the Imperial system. They need to clarify what they stand for. Under the Constitution of Japan, we must accept the Imperial system as well as “Kimigayo” and the “Hinomaru.” If we oppose them, then we should try to revise the Constitution.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

masayuki aihara

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