Japan's education minister has set off a debate in higher education with a call for universities to fly the country's flag and sing the national anthem at graduation ceremonies, The Japan Times reported. The Education Ministry says that, of the 86 national universities, 74 displayed the flag and 14 sang the anthem at the most recent graduation ceremonies.
Some academics are objecting to the request. “We don’t need to comply with the request,” said Takamitsu Sawa, who heads Shiga University, which displays the flag but does not sing the anthem at ceremonies. “Our responsibility to taxpayers is to contribute through education and research.”
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