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Ex-teachers in eKimigayof lawsuit appeal to higher court


   In a lawsuit over the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education order to stand up and sing gKimigayo,h 10 former metropolitan high school teachers on July 2 appealed to the Tokyo High Court.


   The Tokyo Metropolitan Government canceled those teachersf post-retirement rehire positions on the grounds that they had refused to stand up and sing gKimigayoh at graduation ceremonies in 2004.


   They filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court demanding that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government retract its decision because their actual dismissal goes against the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education. However, the court on July 20 dismissed their claim.


   In a rally held in front of the high court after filing the appeal, the plaintiffs stressed that coercion should be avoided in schools.


   gI was dismissed simply because I didnft stand up for 40 seconds while eKimigayof was played,h a plaintiff former teacher said.


   Plaintiffs and their legal team published a statement, stating, gWe will put forth every effort to win a court judgment to protect the freedom of thought and conscience and to prohibit estate interference in education that would prevent students from growing up with free and independent mindsf.h

- Akahata, July 3, 2007




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