Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Petition for retrial is rejected by the Tokyo High Court: Sunagawa Incident

“The Abe Administration has twisted the decision of the Supreme Court on the Sunagawa Incident to use it as a legal basis of the undemocratic 2015 Military Legislation. A retrial is likely to seriously damage the administration, so I feel political intentions behind the High Court’s decision”. (TSUCHIYA Gentaro)
“I have been involved in this struggle for 60 years. This is against war and for peace and the Constitution. The High Court’s heartless decision is totally unacceptable”. (MUTO Gun-ichiro)
The Sunagawa Incident court case was over which is superior – the Japan-US Security Treaty or the Japanese Constitution. This is also related to the current problems over US military bases in Okinawa. In 1959, the Tokyo District Court handed down a not guilty verdict to the defendants, saying that the stationing of the US Military in Japan is unconstitutional, but later, the Tokyo High Court overturned the verdict and decided they were guilty. However, an official document has revealed that the US Government directly pressed the Chief Justice of Japan’s Supreme Court at that time during the court case. Based on the new evidence, the four former defendants including Tsuchiya and Muto filed a petition for retrial, which was rejected at the Tokyo High Court on November 15, following the same decision by the Tokyo District Court. Both decisions never referred to the new evidence. The four are going to make a special appeal to the Supreme Court and continue their struggle. (M) 



Survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education: “68% of junior high school teachers are on the brink of karoshi”

On November 9, 2017, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education released a result of its survey, which says, “68% of junior high school teachers work more than 60 hours a week”. The board proposes the “Plan to promote a workstyle reform at school (provisional)” based on the result, but it totally ignores the fact that the long working hours of teachers are definitely caused by the board itself and Japan’s Education Ministry. It never admits its own fault. It is not teachers but the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education that needs to change the mind. Such long working hours were probably nonexistent before 2000 when teachers in the field decided at their meetings what to do. Their workload has dramatically increased since the board and the ministry changed the meetings to a place of orders and coercion and forced teachers to present relevant documents. The additional workload includes annual 35-hour training on the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, compulsory Saturday classes, forcible “training sessions”, various research reports, self-declaration for performance evaluation, and obligatory presentation of other documents, such as class plans. (NEZU Kimiko)
* Photo: Leaflets being delivered to Tokyo Metropolitan Government staff