TOKYO, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Two members of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet said separately on Tuesday that they support using the controversial prewar Imperial Rescript on Education as a teaching material, despite strong protests from opposition parties and the public.
Japan's top government spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the government should allow for the use of the rescript "under careful consideration so that it does not violate the Constitution and the basic education law."
Japan's education minister Hirokazu Matsuno said at a different press conference that he saw "no problem in the Imperial Rescript on Education being used as a teaching material."
He also claimed that other materials not in line with Japan's constitution were already included in school textbooks, and "that does not mean they should be eliminated. It's about what we actually teach."
The Imperial Rescript on Education has drawn public attention recently after an Osaka kindergarten operated by the scandal-hit Moritomo Gakuen was found to have been making its students memorize it.
The edict, issued in 1890, had been used to promote emperor-oriented and militaristic education before and during the Second World War and was abolished after the end of the war.
The kindergarten's advocation of the rescript, though drawing criticism from many parents, was reportedly supported by Abe and his wife Akie, as the prime minister's wife visited the kindergarten several times before a cut-price land deal scandal involving the school operator broke out.
The Japanese government said last week that it would not rule out the textbook use of the Imperial Rescript on Education, drawing much criticism from opposition parties and the public.
Hiroshi Ogushi, policy chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, reportedly said that it "clearly shows the Abe administration's move to return to prewar values."
Akira Koike, secretariat head of the Japanese Communist Party, told a press conference that the government's decision showed a dangerous trend of the Abe administration and shall not be allowed.