Abe sang Kimigayo, the national anthem of the Imperial Japan
'May your reign continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations, until the pebbles grow into boulders lush with moss.' This is the lyrics to Kimigayo, the national anthem of the Imperial Japan. This anthem is a symbol of Japanese nationalism, imperialism and militarism, which expresses praise and loyalty to the Japanese Emperor. Japanese prime minister, Abe, and the Liberal Democratic Party started off their first working day of 2013 by singing this song. Although in 1999, Kimigayo was legally recognized as the official national anthem, with the passage of Act on National Flag and Anthem, the song is often seen as a symbol of past imperialism and militarism.
Kimigayo was the de facto national anthem before the country's defeat in World War II. The victory of Abe, often branded as a hawkish politician is seen as a sign that Japan might be shifting back to the right-wing. Abe used 'Take Back Japan' as the campaign slogan for the December election that returned the long-dominant party to power. Abe wants to loosen the limits of Japan's 1947 pacifist constitution on the military and recast wartime history with a less apologetic tone. He will also put patriotism back in the school curriculum and made education reform a priority. This is all to revive nationalism and imperialism in Japan, which will deepen the conflict between its Asian neighbors.
1. I lived in Japan well before 1999...and Kimigayo was "the" national anthem played at every
venue where an anthem was appropriate. When the TV signed off, there it was.
Even if it wasn't "official" it was still pervasive.
I could sing along, and I can't even speak much Japanese--that's how often I heard it over a half decade or so.
I don't argue that they might be using the anthem for their own purposes...heck, I still shudder mightily every time I hear "God Bless America." The Bush regime beat that song to death for their own purposes, as well!!!