Compensation win for Japanese teachers forced to sing national anthem

After being refused to be re-hired for not singing the national anthem, a group of Japanese teachers sue the municipal government and win huge compensation.
Emperor-Akihito-right-and-Empress-Michiko-left-bow-during-a-memorial-service-at-the-Tokyo-Memorial-Hall-AP-Photo
Emperor-Akihito-right-and-Empress-Michiko-left-bow-during-a-memorial-service-at-the-Tokyo-Memorial-Hall-AP-Photo
Updated on May 26, 2015 04:18 PM IST
Copy Link
AFP | By, Tokyo

A Japanese court has awarded millions of dollars in compensation to a group of teachers who were punished for refusing to sing the country's anthem. The group said on Tuesday that it condemned nationalism in education.

The Tokyo District Court ruled on Monday that the capital's municipal government must pay a total of 537 million yen ($4.5 million) to 22 former high school teachers.

The group said the city refused to re-hire them under a scheme that extends employment past the retirement age, because they disobeyed orders to stand and sing the anthem at graduation ceremonies.

Some critics say Japan's anthem amounts to a call to sacrifice oneself for the emperor and celebrates militarism. Numerous battles over the years have seen teachers clash with school administrators over this issue.Even today nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is accused of trying to play down Japan's war history.

In 2012, the supreme court ruled that penalising teachers for not standing to sing the anthem was constitutional, but it warned administrators to exercise care in going beyond a reprimand.

On Monday, district judge Toru Yoshida said the Tokyo government's refusal to re-hire the group was disproportionate to the offence.

"There needs to be careful consideration when penalising people because they behaved in a way based on their own beliefs," he said, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Plaintiff Eishun Nagai, 68, called it "a great ruling that gives teachers some breathing room". "Because of our punishment, other teachers have felt threatened to express their opinions to superiors, such as principals," he told AFP on Tuesday. "You are told not to think for yourself but just do what you're told."

Last month, Prime Minister Abe told parliament that raising the national flag and standing to sing the anthem at school ceremonies should be done not only in elementary and secondary institutions, but also in public universities.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Officers gather at the scene of the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. 

    Video captures horrific July 4 US parade mass shooting in Chicago suburb

    It was a morning of celebration for a Chicago suburb when suddenly dozens of bullets were fired, followed by a pandemonium and chaos in the streets amid screams. Shocking visuals and videos have emerged on social media. One of the clips, which is particularly disturbing, captures the moment when the attacker opened fire from a rooftop. Another video caught the confusion among onlookers. One man is accompanied by a toddler.

  • The motive of shooting is yet to be established by the investigating officers.

    Who is Robert Crimo? What we know about US parade shooting suspect | 5 points

    The US law enforcement agencies on Tuesday announced they had captured a suspect named Robert Crimo in a shooting on Monday that killed six people and wounded more than 36 at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Those wounded ranged between the ages of 8 to 85. Who is Robert Crimo - person of interest in Highland Park shooting 1.

  • Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Ill., Monday, July 4, 2022. A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago on Monday. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    In July 4 US parade shooting, suspect held hours after 6 killed, dozens injured

    Robert E Crimo III, a person of interest linked to a shooting in the United States that killed six people and wounded more than 36, has been held. This is the latest incident of gun violence rearing its ugly head in the country. Here are top updates on the latest shooting incident in the US: 1. In his first reaction, hours after the shooting, US president Joe Biden said he was shocked.

  • China scrambles to contain fresh Covid outbreak

    China scrambles to contain fresh Covid outbreak

    A county in China's eastern Anhui province is carrying out daily nucleic acid tests on 763,000 locked down residents while mass tests have been ordered for other areas, as authorities scramble to contain a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. For China, it will have to be a pragmatic balance between its avowed zero-Covid strategy - marked by lockdowns, large-scale testing campaigns and strict isolation protocols - and allowing normal economic activity.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

    Putin orders Russians to fight on after key Ukraine city falls

    President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops to press their offensive deeper into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine after Moscow's forces seized the strategic city of Lysychansk. In a sign there would be no let-up in the fighting and that Russia now had its eyes on the entire Donetsk region, Putin told Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu that troops stationed there must continue their operations.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, July 05, 2022