Ishihara’s Hinomaru order called legit

Prosecutors will not indict Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and two others for ordering Tokyo public school teachers to stand before the Hinomaru flag and sing the national anthem at school ceremonies, sources said Wednesday.

The prosecutors consider the acts to have been legitimate, the sources said.

They are rejecting a criminal complaint filed by a group of teachers, who have claimed Ishihara and the two then senior officials at the Tokyo Metropolitan board of education violated their freedom of conscience by forcing them to stand before the Hinomaru flag and sing “Kimigayo.”

The three officials said teachers would be punished if they refused to obey, which constituted a threat and abuse of power, the teachers said.