Jun 27 Sophia U Film Showing: “Refusing to Stand for the Kimigayo”


Hi Blog. Little something which might interest you. Debito back in Sapporo


From: David Slater
Subject: Film Showing at Sophia U: “Refusing to Stand for the Kimigayo” (June
Forwarded by Robert Aspinall

Institute for the Study of Social Justice at Sophia University
Invites you to a film screening:

AGAINST COERCION:Refusing to Stand for “Kimigayo”
(87 minutes/in Japanese with English subtitles)
Directors: Matsubara Akira and Sasaki Yumi (Video Press)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Room L921, 9th Floor, Central Library
Yotsuya Campus, Sophia University
Free Admission

Since the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education issued
a decree to strictly enforce the hoisting of Hinomaru
and the singing of Kimigayo at school ceremonies in
2003, over 340 public school teachers in Tokyo have so
far faced disciplinary actions for “negligence of
duties.” Although the Tokyo Local Court ruled such
coercion unconstitutional in September 2006, the Tokyo
Metropolitan Board of Education took disciplinary
measures against a further 35 teachers in March 2007
and appealed to Tokyo High Court. The punitive
measures of the Tokyo Board of Education are
cumulative, and as a consequence, it looks quite
possible at this point that some teachers will face
dismissal in March 2008 –if they continue to refuse
to stand for Kimigayo.

Such developments are not limited to Tokyo public
schools, and are indeed of particular relevance to
those who are in teaching professions at school as
well as university levels. The new Law on National
Referenda that the Abe government enacted last month
contains a stipulation that prohibits teachers (and
public servants) to “utilize their positions” during
future campaigns on constitutional revisions –in
other words, a school teacher or university professor
who expresses a view that does not conform with the
government proposal may very well face similar
disciplinary measures for “negligence of duties.”

This documentary film follows the school teachers, and
their students, as the teachers refuse to stand for
Kimigayo and face pay-cut, suspension, and re-training
programs. The doors open at 17:00, and the movie
screening is followed by a Q&A session with Ms.
Kawarai Junko, who is currently suspended from her
position at a school for the disabled in Tokyo.

This event represents the first part of a program
entitled “Is Freedom in Danger?” organized by the
Institute for the Study of Social Justice, Sophia
University. It will be followed by a symposium on
October 11, where Prof. Takami Katsutoshi (Sophia Law
School) will speak on the subject of constitution and
freedom, Father Tani Daiji (Bishop of Saitama,
Catholic Church) on freedom of religion, and Koichi
Nakano (Sophia University) on the contemporary
politics of illiberalism (all in Japanese).


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