Did student care if they sing the national anthem or not at school? They didn't give a damn about singing , or not singing it.
For me, national anthem is the song you sing when you attend athlete competition, and the national flag is the flag you see at Kokugikan, indoor sporting arena.
Discussions always say that many Japanese don’t want to sing it because it is linked with Japan’s militarism and imperialism. Okinawans also link it to mainland Japan’s oppression of Okinawa, so I suppose the same thoughts are expressed by other ethnic minorities in Japan.Beautiful Japan
I don't link it with Japan's militarism nor Imperialism.
Allons enfants de la Patrie Arise, children of the fatherland
Le jour de gloire est arrivé ! The day of glory has arrived!
Contre nous de la tyrannie Against us, the tyranny's
L'étendard sanglant est levé. (bis)  Bloody banner is raised. (repeat)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes Do you hear in the fields
Mugir ces féroces soldats ? The howling of these savage soldiers?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras They are coming into your midst
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes ! To cut the throats of your sons, your wives!
Aux armes, citoyens ! To arms, citizens!
Formez vos bataillons ! Form your battalions!
Marchons, marchons ! Let us march, let us march!
Qu'un sang impur May tainted blood
Abreuve nos sillons ! Water our fields!wiki
You could link it with bloody militarism or machonism, but normally people do not.
“May your life (reign) continue for thousands of years until pebbles by age become a mighty rock and moss forms on its surface.”We could say that it’s a song glorifying the penis–may your erection be as hard as a rock and last for thousands of years
Nor do I link it with penis erection.(Such a imagination!)
Then conquer we must
when our cause it is just.
And this be our motto:
"In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in
triumph shall wave,
O'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave! 世界の国歌
You could link it with the oppression of native Indians and religion in which there is no concept of God and also it might be linked with the oppression of secular people. But normally people do not.
What does the Hinomaru symbolize?
Experts claim the crimson disk symbolizes the rising sun, which represents the Shinto goddess Amaterasu. It’s origin is unknown, but the symbol was commonly used on military flags, in different colors and arrangements, by warlords in the 15th and 16th centuries.
By the same token, many other national flags were used on military flags.
Why have the two symbols caused controversy?....The Tokyo directive added stricter punishments for refusing to abide by the orders, including salary deductions and cancellation of rehiring contracts.
Right--- that is the issue.
In case of Korea
Under a presidential decree dating to 1972, Koreans are required to recite the pledge of allegiance at public gatherings and at the start of each week of classes from elementary through high school: “I pledge, in front of proud Taegeukgi [Korea’s national flag], allegiance to my mother country, to devote my body and soul to the eternal glory of the country and the people.”...“We changed some parts of the pledge of allegiance as they were outdated and sounded a bit oppressive,” said Jung Hyun-kyu, a director at the ministry.
“We inserted ‘liberty’ and ‘justice’ in the new version, as they are the priority values we say we are pursuing in the Constitution. ‘The Republic of Korea’ also sounds less oppressive than ‘mother country.’(Joong Ang Daily July 09, 2007)
Besides they love their national flag
In case of Japan, only public school teachers are required to sing and hoist the flag at the ceremony,
Does it violate the freedom of the thought protected by the article 19 of the constitution? The supreme court said no. I agree.
You have to teach the theory of evolution, even if you firmly believed in anti-evolutionism, you need to hoist the flag at the required ceremony.If you don't teach the subject your salary will deduced, and there is no reason to rehire teacher who do not do the required job. Just like that, as an job obligation, I think teachers at public school are required to sing Kimigaya, and hoist the national flag at a requied ceremony.
Besides , it is not obvious at all that the national flag and anthem symbolize what they say.
A Conscientious objector has alternative of military service. In this sense teacher at public school might want to take the alternative. But even in that case, they can not force their student to sing the anthem of their own making. if people do not like it, they don't actually have to sing;they need to open and shut mouth without singing. However, if she/he is a music teacher, I think she/he needs to play the anthem because that is his/her part of job.
Frankly speaking, I think all this talk about the national flag and anthem is crazy, And it shows an crazy aspect of Japanese society in which so many people are fervent anti-militarism to such a extent that people bother to make up virtual militarism to oppose. (Sometimes some of them even look anarchist.)