Welcome to the PreventiveLawsuit English Page

3/02/2006

Introduction

In January 2004, an initial group of 228 school teachers stood up against the unjust directive that had been issued by Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education on 23 October 2003, which they believed would violate freedom of thought and conscience, as well as freedom of education. They filed a lawsuit claiming that the directive is invalid because it is not in conformity with the Constitution of Japan and the Fundamental Law of Education, and that the teachers shall not be punished based on the orders commanded by the principals in accordance with the directive.

This court case is nicknamed "Yobo-sosho", or "the Preventive Lawsuit". While most legal complaints are filed after damages are made, this one is about preventing the damages before they actually made as a result of the allegedly unlawful act of the Board. In the meantime, the Education Board reprimanded more than 300 teachers in the two years following the directive for disobeying the controversial order that obliged them to stand up and sing 'Kimigayo' the national anthem at graduation and entrance ceremonies.

Thus the significance of the Preventive Lawsuit has constantly been increased since its start in January 2004. Since then, the membership of the plaintiff's group has grown to 401, who are compelled to follow the disputed order again during the graduation and entrance ceremony season this spring. They are supported and represented by a group of more than 50 enthusiastic lawyers. After 14 hearings, decision of the court is to be delivered in several months. Please learn more about the strife of the teachers towards free and democratic schools. Please support them by voicing your opinion.

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