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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 July 24 - 30  > Abe’s education policy strategist attacks SMAP’s hit song for encouraging children to not compete
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2013 July 24 - 30 TOP3 [EDUCATION]

Abe’s education policy strategist attacks SMAP’s hit song for encouraging children to not compete

July 27, 2013
Popular Japanese idol group SMAP’s hit tune, “The one and only flower in the world” which is widely used in music classes in schools, is spoiling Japanese children according to an educational policy strategist of the Abe government, Yagi Hidetsugu.

He denounces the lyrics, “No.1 is not always what we want”, claiming that it encourages children to not make an effort. His mindset focuses on “competition” and “coercion” in schools. Without competition and coercion, children cannot maintain their motivation, according to Yagi. He even calls for the need for physical discipline to educate children.

Yagi is a former head of a rightist group complaining that Japanese history education is masochistic. He promoted the publication of a history textbook which justifies Japan’s actions during past wars. He argues that the two official statements by Japan admitting to its past war of aggression and to its Army’s involvement in forced sexual slavery during WWII have oriented the country’s history education in the direction of an anti-Japanese masochistic view. Yagi praises Prime Minister Abe Shinzo as an icon who bravely fights against such a perception of history. Furthermore, this education advisor seeks to revive the spirit of the prewar Imperial Rescript on Education which pushed young people into battlefields and to reinstate the concept of “good wife, wise mother” and “authority of the father”.

Another education policy advisor is journalist Sakurai Yoshiko who makes the claim that corporal punishment must be readopted in schools and within families.

Sakurai, in regard to the comfort women issue, argued that neither the Japanese government nor the military forcibly carted off women to brothels. She frequently contributes articles to weekly magazines and repeats, “Japanese people who are denouncing Japan by distorting historical facts are helping to create the increase in anti-Japan complaints,” and that politicians who admitted to and apologized for the actions of the Japanese military are as blameworthy as those who fan anti-patriotic sentiment when no evidence exists to prove the allegation of the forced prostitution of women. Regarding the Tokyo Tribunal, she insists that Japan has not accepted the illegality and value judgment of the tribunal which was based on hatred.

Both advisors share the same objectives as Prime Minister Abe in pursuit of an education system strengthened by government control, that is more competitive and more nationalistic, and that will teach a nationalistic interpretation of history.
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