THE principal and other members of staff at a kindergarten in Shanghai’s Zhabei District are facing punishment after a teacher used a Japanese military tune in a performance by pupils.
Xia Miao, principal of the Shanghai Aurora Foreign Language Kindergarten, has already issued a public apology for the incident, officials at the district’s education bureau said yesterday.
The offending composition, known as the Warship March, was once the official song of the Japanese navy and is now the theme tune of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, the People’s Daily reported.
The piece was used to accompany children drumming during a graduation ceremony at the school on June 27.
After videos of the display were uploaded to the Internet, there was a rush to complain from people who recognized the melody.
Xia said the music had been selected by a teacher who found it online and was unaware of its Japanese military links. There were no lyrics with it or clues to its origins.
The teacher chose it simply because it had a good beat for the children to drum to, Xia said.
In future, the process of selecting music for such occasions will be more closely supervised, she said.
The education bureau said it launched an investigation after seeing the online comments, most of which were critical of the kindergarten for using a piece so closely linked to Japanese militarism during World War II.
The bureau ordered the kindergarten to make a public apology, and said it will punish both Xia and the teachers involved.