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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 30 - June 5  > Pro-Yasukuni parliamentary groups backing up Abe Cabinet
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2007 May 30 - June 5 [HISTORY]

Pro-Yasukuni parliamentary groups backing up Abe Cabinet

May 27, 2007
‘Parliamentary Group to Promote Value-Oriented Diplomacy’

The “Parliamentary Group to Promote Value-Oriented Diplomacy” formed on May 17 is chiefly composed of members of the Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi) Dietmembers’ Council. Furuya Keiji, a House of Representatives member who is the Japan Conference Dietmembers’ Council vice chair, became the group chair.

Citing the issues of the Imperial Household Law, prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and the enactment of a bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision, Furuya, who pledges to adhere to “genuine conservatism,” said that they will get together with like-minded comrades and act quickly in order to support the Abe Cabinet. He intends to support the pro-Yasukuni cabinet by increasing pro-Yasukuni Dietmembers.

Adverse revision of Education Law

In December 2006, the Fundamental Law of Education was forcibly revised. The Japan Conference waged a nationwide campaign to collect signatures and to call on local assemblies to adopt resolutions in support of the revision. “The Constitution cannot be changed unless education is changed,” Japan Conference Chair Miyoshi Toru stressed.

Members of the Japan Conference Dietmembers Council formed a parliamentary group to promote revision of the Fundamental Law of Education, and pressed to include in the revised law “patriotism” and “cultivation of religious sentiment” and to exclude the phrase “Education shall not be subject to improper control.”

Educating parents

The Japan Conference has been adamantly opposed to revision of the Civil Code that will allow the use of separate surnames by a married couple and opposed shortening the period of ban on remarriage of women, arguing, “This will lead to the collapse of family ties and monogamy.”

In April, local assembly members taking part in the Japan Conference formed an association to “defend family ties” with LDP Dietmembers Furuya Keiji, Inada Tomomi, Nishikawa Kyoko, and Hagiuda Koichi as its advisors, and launched a campaign for the prevention of Civil Code revision.

Nishikawa, at a symposium organized by a Japan Conference-affiliated women’s association in December 2006, said, “The prewar education was far more superior than that of today in terms of cultivating moral and socially accepted ideas.” She attaches importance to the family role for passing on such morals.

At this symposium, speakers called for educating parents. The governmental Education Council drew up a controversial draft proposal to educate parents, including feeding babies with mother’s milk and singing appropriate lullabies, but gave it up due to strong criticism.

The idea to educate parents also came from the Japan Conference.

Wartime sex slavery

The Japan Conference as well as its forerunner, the “National Congress to Defend Japan,” has attached importance to publishing school textbooks and actually published high school history textbooks.

When the Japan Conference was established in 1997, young rightist Dietmembers formed within the Liberal Democratic Party an association to address the issue of history education. Members of this association pressed the government and the textbook publishing companies to delete accounts on wartime sex slavery from textbooks.

At the time of the inauguration of the association, its key posts were held by Abe Cabinet members and the current LDP officials, including LDP Policy Research Council Chair Nakagawa Shoichi (chair), Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (secretary general), former Agriculture Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu (vice chair), and Minister of State for Gender Equality Takaichi Sanae.

In April, this association made a plan to visit the United States (later, postponed) to prevent the U.S. Congress from adopting a resolution calling on the Japanese prime minister to apologize for the wartime sex slavery.
- Akahata, May 27, 2007
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