Japan's PM starts year in song

2013-01-07 17:50
Shinzo Abe (Picture: AFP)

Shinzo Abe (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokoyo - Japan's nationalist new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began his first working day of 2013 on Monday by singing the national anthem, seen by some as a symbol of past imperialism.

The hawkish premier's conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which returned to power in a general election landslide victory last month, opened a party meeting by singing "Kimigayo".

The solemn song, based on an ancient poem with obscure lyrics whose title is widely translated as "His Majesty's Reign", has served as the national anthem since the late 19th century - even after Japan's defeat in World War II.

"As control of government shifted to a political party that could firmly sing Kimigayo on the first working day of the year, we were truly able to take a first step toward taking back Japan," Abe told the LDP meeting, according to the Sankei daily online edition and the Nippon TV network.

Abe, a third-generation politician whose grandfather was a World War II cabinet member and became a post-war prime minister, has advocated the revision of the pacifist constitution imposed by the US in 1947.

Kimigayo has been sung at domestic and international sporting events, despite persistent criticism from leftists and liberals that it was the anthem of militarist Japan.

Efforts by local authorities to have the song sung at official functions in school have been met with strong resistance from teachers.

Teachers also have little respect for the red-sun national flag that has also survived the war.

Read more on:    shinzo abe  |  japan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may meet...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.