Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has surprised and outraged many by leading the cry of "Long Live the Emperor" to mark what the country calls "Sovereignty Day". Long Live the Emperor, was used as a battle cry in World War Two.
Japanese media reported on Wednesday that both the ruling party and opposition parties have expressed their dissatisfaction. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said Abe’s call reminded Okinawa residents of the war.
Local media in Okinawa said the residents felt uncomfortable over Abe’s action, and said it lacked consideration. South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also condemned the action.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told the press on Tuesday that the ceremony should have ended after Abe made the closing speech. He said Abe’s call was not on the schedule. But in the video released on the official government website, Abe’s call has been cut to "long live", without "the Emperor".