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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Should the "Kimigayo" be forced on schools?


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Masae Takase
Web shop owner, 31
When I was at school, singing the national anthem was just a natural thing to do. We didn't think of it as being right or wrong. I don't believe people should be forced into it, though. We should have the right to choose.

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Katherine Higgins
Housewife, 28
In the U.S., a lot of districts are required to give the pledge of allegiance. Having the requirement is not that extreme, but the measures used to enforce it are a different matter. The threat of imprisonment is going too far.

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Ant Gardner
Teacher, 32
I think it's outrageous and a breach of freedom of speech. It's a personal choice in the U.K. The anthem has militaristic overtones and is indicative of the rise in nationalism. This rise may become a serious problem in a few years.

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Sietske
Student, 21
It's important for educational purposes. People should know the lyrics of the song. I don't believe it should be forced, though. Teachers have the right to teach it and people should have the right to boycott it.

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Yuka Gardner
Nurse, 34
I don't find anything unusual in singing the anthem and it's strange that it's become a controversial topic. It has always been a fixed event, like the principal's speech. However, it is shocking that people are being forced into it.

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Masahiko Ninomiya
Acupuncturist, 31
I think people should just sing the anthem, whether it's compulsory or not. It's a part of Japanese culture. The issue is linked with visits to Yasukuni. People visit shrines here, it's what we do. If it's cultural, it shouldn't been frowned upon.



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