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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 11 - 18  > Rightists and constitutional revisionists seek to impose 'national origin myth' in disregard of historical facts
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2020 February 11 - 18 [POLITICS]

Rightists and constitutional revisionists seek to impose 'national origin myth' in disregard of historical facts

February 11 & 12, 2020
A group consisting of rightists, including Nippon Kaigi and rightwing religious organizations, on February 11 held a rally in Tokyo to celebrate "national foundation day" and called for accelerating Diet discussions on constitutional revision and for a government-hosted national foundation day ceremony. What they have in mind, however, absolutely disregards historical facts and the spirit of Japan's postwar Constitution.

February 11, based on former Empire Day or so-called "kigensetsu", is the day when the first mythological emperor "Jimmu" was said to have acceded to the throne. In 1873, the Meiji Government created "kigensetsu" in order to authorize the rule of Tenno (emperor) and used this myth to indoctrinate the people to support militarism and mobilize them for the war of aggression. Therefore, "kigensetsu" neither has historical nor scientific grounds at all.

A message from Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was read out at the rally. Abe in the message said, "I will preserve the tradition and will boldly face up to and overcome difficult challenges."

Inada Tomomi, executive acting secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, delivered a guest speech. She said, "I am working hard to raise public awareness about the need for amendments to the Constitution. I will continue to be committed to advancing discussions and to creating an environment so that constitutional revision can be proposed to the Diet." Ishii Mitsuko, "Nippon Ishin no Kai" lawmaker, said, "Revising the Constitution is the highest priority issue."

For two decades following WWII, "kigensetsu" was abolished under the postwar Constitution. However, in 1966, the government then led by Sato Eisaku revived "kigensetsu" and made February 11 the national foundation day of Japan, which was deeply linked to a resurgence of Tenno sovereignty, constitutional revision, and Japan's remilitarization.

Today, the Abe government has reintroduced the prewar ideology as shown in the present Emperor's coronation ritual and ignores the postwar constitutional principle of "popular sovereignty" and "separation of state and religion".

The people, as sovereigns, should block the move to impose the mythology associated with national origin again on the general public.

Past related article:
> Mythical founding of the country gives slanted understanding of history [February 11, 2016]
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