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Home » Archives » November 2004 » Tokyo Education Board Punishes Teacher Over Anthem

Tokyo Education Board Punishes Teacher Over Anthem

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 Posted: 07:06 PM JST

The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education yesterday cut the salary of an elementary school teacher by 10 percent for 1 month. She was punished for not showing up at a remedial training session after refusing to stand up and sing Japan's national anthem during a ceremony at her school in April.

The training session was held in August for some 240 teachers who have refused to observe Japan's national flag and anthem during school ceremonies. "I did not attend the session because the board of education did not respond to my questions about the purpose of the session," the 54-year-old teacher said according to Kyodo. "It is illegal to punish me like this."

The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education decreed on October 23 of last year that all schools run by the metropolitan government display the national flag and sing the national anthem during commencement and graduation ceremonies. Teachers who refuse repeatedly may eventually loose their jobs.

The rule has enraged teachers, students and parents. Even the Emperor has made a comment about the issue. In a unique display of political involvement Emperor Akihito said on November 28 that it is "desirable not to force" teachers and students to pay respect to the "Hinomaru" national flag and sing the "Kimigayo" national anthem at school ceremonies.

Last Saturday more than 5,000 teachers and their supporters demonstrated in Tokyo against the enforced observance of the national flag and anthem.

Keywords: national_news militarism

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