A plenary session of the Osaka municipal assembly on Tuesday voted in favor of a new ordinance that makes it compulsory for teachers at public schools throughout the prefecture to stand and sing the Japanese national anthem “Kimigayo.” The ordinance was proposed by Mayor Toru Hashimoto.
Osaka prefectural government politicians first voted in favor of singing the “Kimigayo” in schools last June as part of a “patriotism” initiative by Hashimoto who was then Osaka governor. When he was elected mayor in November, Hashimoto said he would like an ordinance to enforce the decision, TBS reported.
The proposal was put forward by a coalition of two minority parties, the Osaka Restoration Association and the New Komeito Party, as well as the Liberal Democratic Party. The merits of introducing new legislation were debated long into the night, eventually resulting in a majority vote in favor of the changes, TBS reported.
Early Wednesday, Hashimoto told a news conference: “We, as elected representatives of the people, have thoroughly debated the issue and the outcome was overwhelmingly in favor of a new regulation enforcing the singing of ‘Kimigayo’ in public schools. Our opinions are to be taken as representative of the wishes of the people, so the national anthem will be sung at school assemblies such as entrance and graduation ceremonies.”