Nine teachers file fresh ‘Kimigayo’ lawsuit

Nine former public school teachers in Tokyo sought a reversal Thursday of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s decision not to re-employ them because they did not stand and sing “Kimigayo” during commencement ceremonies in March.

In a lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court, the nine people, who had initially signed contracts renewing their employment for the new academic year from April with the local government, also demanded 3 million yen each in compensation due to the sudden cancellation of their contracts.

The lawsuit is one in a number of recent court cases concerning an order issued Oct. 23 by the metropolitan board of education to enforce the singing of the national anthem and display of the Hinomaru flag at formal events in metropolitan government-run schools.

Since the order was issued, more than 200 people have been punished and several lawsuits have been filed.

The nine plaintiffs in the recent case said the reason given for refusing to re-employ them was their “poor performance in the previous academic year.”