According to polls conduced by mainstream media, most Japanese people had perceived "Kimigayo" as the national anthem even before the passage of the Act on National Flag and Anthem in 1999. Despite this, controversies surrounding the use of the anthem in school events or media still remain. For example, liberal newspapers such as Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun often feature articles critical of the flag of Japan, reflecting their readerships' political spectrum.
Outside of the school system, there was a controversy regarding "Kimigayo" soon after the passage of the 1999 law. A month after the law's passage, a record containing a performance of "Kimigayo" by Japanese rocker Kiyoshiro Imawano was removed by Polydor records for his next album Fuyu no Jujika. Polydor did not want a record to stir up emotion in the Japanese; in response, Imawano re-released the album through an independent label with the track in question.
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