Foil adverse revision of Education Law: 5,500 citizens rally

Calling for blocking the government attempt to revise the Fundamental Law of Education, about 5,500 citizens held a rally on November 6 at the Hibiya Open-air Hall in Tokyo. The National Liaison Council against Revision of the Fundamental Law of Education, composed of the All Japan Teachers and Staff Union (ZENKYO) and others, sponsored the rally.

Participants from various parts of the country reported that local boards of education under the direction of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry are urging teachers and pupils to sing "Kimigayo" as the national anthem and pay respect to the "Hinomaru" (rising sun) flag as the national flag.

Religious leaders, lawyers, and war veterans also emphasized the need to safeguard children, education, and peace under the Education Law.

Komori Yoichi, Tokyo University professor, warned that revising the basic law will mean using education as a tool of indoctrinating children for the cause of making a "war-fighting nation."

Takahashi Tetsuya, Tokyo University professor, stressed that once the basic law is revised, the principle that education must be independent of state control will be destroyed. Whether or not the freedom of education can be defended depends on the struggle against its adverse revision, he said.

Representing the Japanese Communist Party, Ishii Ikuko, House of Representatives member, spoke at the rally. Demonstration marches took place after the rally.

Similar rallies were held recently in several cities in Japan, with a total of 10,000 attendants.

In October, the education ministry admitted that it has been drafting the revised Fundamental Law of Education. According to the ministry's interim report sent to the JCP Dietmembers group, the draft has 19 articles, while the current law has 11. (end)

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