Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unfair Court Ruling in Kanagawa against Teachers Who Refuse To Stand for the National Anthem

In just five seconds the Yokohama District Court on July 16 ruled that it would reject the plaintiffs’ case and its main argument. The plaintiffs who are 170 teachers in Kanagawa Prefecture have been fighting for freedom of speech for four years seeking courts to recognize that there is no legal obligation for Kanagawa teaching staff to stand for and sing the national anthem under the Constitution. On the day of the ruling, 140 teachers stood waiting outside the courts to hear the ruling as there was only 35 seats available in the auditorium. Plaintiff leader Sanrin was momentarily speechless after relaying to the crowd waiting outside that the unfair ruling was made in less than five seconds. However, he continued to say that this was definitely not the end, which was greeted with a loud applause. In Kanagawa, close to 100 teachers refuse to stand for the national anthem and are faced with legal battles every year. The defeated plaintiffs stated that that this ruling has put a brake on the battle that has been continuing for four years. (Written by M)


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