Thursday, February 10, 2011

Worst Possible Verdict ~ Tokyo High Court Upsets Lower-Court’s Ruling

Tokyo High Court turned over the lower-court’s verdict on the singing of “Kimigayo” national anthem on Jan. 28. The lower court ruled on Sept. 21, 2006, that freedom of thought and conscience is granted to educators and there should be no obligation to sing the national anthem. It also ruled that the coercion by the Tokyo Metropolitan education board was against constitution. It was a landmark verdict and encouraging to the teachers who tried to believe in their conscientiousness. But the verdict at Tokyo High Court turned out miserable. Expressions on the faces of about 200 plaintiffs and supporters stiffened when they heard the report in front of the court house. “The judge made the decision even before he considered our plea and claims. It was the worst verdict we could think of,” the head of the plaintiffs, Miyamura, said in a microphone. “The Japanese court is dead!” By M. See UnionTube *Photo: Lawyer (center) reporting a verdict to plaintiffs and supporters, and leading plaintiff, Miyamura (right).

 1月28日午後1時すぎ、東京高裁(民事24部・都築弘裁判長)で「君が代」強制をめぐる裁判の判決があった。原告は都の教職員395人。一審の難波判決(2006年9月21日)は、「教員には思想信条の自由があり国歌斉唱義務はない。都教委の強制は憲法違反」という画期的なもので、良心を貫く教員を鼓舞したものだった。しかし、この日の控訴審判決は無残なものだった。判決が伝えられると、裁判所前で待っていた約200人の原告・支援者の顔がこわばった。宮村原告団長はマイクを握り「すべて門前払いの内容。考えられる中で最悪の判決だ」と震える声で語った。ある支援者は裁判所に向かって「日本の裁判所は死んだのか!」と叫び続けた。(M) ・動画(UnionTube) *写真=報告する弁護士(中央)と宮村原告団長(右)

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