Patriotism Bill Approved in Japan

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Parliament's lower house approved legislation Thursday requiring schools to instill patriotism in Japan's children.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the New Komeito, want to revise Japan's post-World War II education law to boost patriotism among the young. With the bloc dominating both legislative chambers, Thursday's passage makes the bill's amendment almost certain.

The revision, a centerpiece of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative agenda, is strongly opposed by opposition lawmakers, who boycotted Thursday's lower house vote.

The 1947 education law has helped raise national education standards, boost Japan's economy and promote democracy, but has "largely neglected nurturing morality, ethics and discipline," Abe said in his latest weekly Web magazine, published Thursday.
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