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Tokyo teachers in eKimigayof suit to appeal to higher court

 

The Tokyo District Court on June 20 dismissed a claim made by 10 former public high school teachers that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government canceled their post-retirement rehire on the grounds that they refused to stand up to sing gKimigayoh at graduation ceremonies in 2004.

 

The court defended the metropolitan government order for teachers to stand up and sing gKimigayo,h saying that it does not violate their freedom of thought or conscience.

 

   In a rally following the court ruling, the plaintiffs, who are seeking compensation for Tokyo governmentfs cancellation of their reemployment contracts right before the new school year started, announced that they will appeal to a higher court.

 

   Plaintiff Kondo Mitsuo, 63, stated, gThis unfair ruling rejects not only us but also those who are making efforts to protect peace and democracy,h adding, gI will keep paying careful attention to the moves of this nation and work to prevent it from going back to the wrong direction.h

 

   Ota Toshiko, a 67-year-old plaintiff, said that she took part in the court struggle in order to enable children to be free and vigorous in school. She said, gI could not effectively argue in court what the students and teachers are suffering from at school. I will restart my struggle today.h

 

   Plaintiffsf lawyers severely criticized the court decision as gthe worst ever ruling.h

 

   Lawyer Akiyama Naoto said the ruling totally ignored the then effective Fundamental Law of Education that prohibited authorities from controlling education based on reflection over the prewar experiences.

 

   Lawyersf leader Oyama Hiroshi said, gWe wonft be discouraged. Instead, we will continue to emphasize the importance of the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and education in a democratic society.h      - Akahata, June 21, 2007

 




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