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Cabinet OKs schools to use banned imperial order as teaching materials

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Opposition politicians on Tuesday criticized a decision by Japan’s cabinet to allow schools to study a 19th century imperial order…
TOKYO —
Opposition politicians on Tuesday criticized a decision by Japan’s cabinet to allow schools to study a 19th century imperial order on education that was banned after World War II for promoting militarism and emperor worship, saying it’s a sign that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is becoming more nationalistic.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the Imperial Rescript on Education should be allowed as teaching material if it is used in line with the constitution and the education law. The cabinet adopted the policy Friday. He added, however, that schools should primarily follow the government-approved curriculum.
Opposition politicians on Tuesday called the move unconstitutional and unacceptable.
“The decision clearly underscores an attempt by the Abe government to reinstate prewar (philosophy),” opposition Democratic Party policy research chief Hiroshi Ogushi told reporters.
The rescript, which all students were required to memorize, called on Japanese to sacrifice themselves for the emperor and his empire. It was issued in the name of Emperor Meiji in 1890 at the beginning of Japan’s half century of expansionism and militarism.
The rescript was recited at schools as students and teachers bowed before photos of the emperor and empress, and was included in moral discipline textbooks until it was banned by parliament in 1948.

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