Thursday, September 30, 2004

Indoctrination to be written into Japanese Law of Education

Patriotism is where the bad guys hide out, I seem to recall. Anyone putting it into an educational curriculum is attempting to corrupt a generation of children. That includes Nariaki Nakayama, Japanese Minister of Education: "a former Finance Ministry official who last served as deputy secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party before being named head of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry in the new Cabinet formed this week". (Quotes are from this Japan Times article.)
Nakayama also said he hopes to submit a bill to revise the Fundamental Law of Education at the next ordinary Diet session, which starts in January.

The 1947 law set the basic foundation for educational policy in postwar Japan. Last year, the Central Council for Education suggested the law be revised to foster patriotism.

Currently, the LDP is discussing how to revise the law with its coalition partner, New Komeito. But they have yet to agree on some points, including whether patriotism should be included as a key component of the law.

But the two parties decided earlier this month to let the education ministry begin drafting the bill on the points the two parties have agreed on, including further equal education opportunities.

Nakayama voiced his support for revisions to promote patriotism. "I think that as we now live in a globalized society, it's necessary to have an image of the Japanese in which (students) can have pride and confidence," he said.

By implication, Nakayama thinks it's preferable to get them to have that image by propaganda rather than trying to make Japan a country which its young people should actually be proud of. And what logical link Nakayama sees between this and 'living in a globalised society', I simply can't imagine.

In case you were wondering what the rather sinisterly-named Central Council for Education is, there's a not very informative page here. As far as I can make out, they are just a bunch of people the Education Ministry pays to provide policy advice. In this case, the ministry should ask for their money back, but they won't, because the advice is exactly what they wanted to hear...

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