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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 30 - February 5  > Kanagawa prefectural education board to resume collection of names of teachers refusing to stand up for ‘Kimigayo’
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2008 January 30 - February 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Kanagawa prefectural education board to resume collection of names of teachers refusing to stand up for ‘Kimigayo’

February 5, 2008
The Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education on February 4 announced that it will resume in March the collection of names of teachers who refuse to stand up while “Kimigayo” is sung at school entrance and graduation ceremonies.

At an education board meeting on the same day, Superintendent Hikichi Takaichi stated that there has been no change in the prefectural government policy of tenaciously giving guidance to teachers who refuse to stand up. The education board approved this policy, stating that teachers’ actions based on personal convictions may significantly hinder the management of schools.

Last year, teachers whose names were reported to the education board filed complaints to a prefectural judging panel, claiming that the education board’s measure amounts to collection of information concerning thoughts and creeds in violation of the prefectural ordinance to protect personal information. In October, the panel judged that the education board measure has violated the ordinance.

Although the education board suspended the measure, it referred the matter to a separate prefectural advisory panel on personal information protection. This panel in January submitted a report, stating that although the measure is deemed inappropriate, the education board should make the final decision.

Commenting on the recent decision of the education board, high school teacher Owada Akio who filed the complaint to the judging panel said, “This decision is unacceptable because it totally ignores the conclusions of the two panels. By joining hands with teachers and citizens, we will fight to put an end to the education board’s policy.”
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