• Kyodo

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The Nagoya District Court on Friday ordered the Nagoya city board of education to allow the All Japan Teachers and Staff Union to use a city education center for a meeting.

An Aichi Prefecture unit of the national union hailed the decision, saying it rebukes the city for bowing to pressure by rightist groups that regularly disrupt such meetings due partly to the national union’s strong emphasis on education based on pacifist ideals.

“We’d like to praise the decision severely censuring the stance taken by the administration, which bowed to a rightist group opposed to the meeting,” said an official of the Aichi school union, which has sought to rent the venue on behalf of the national union.

Yukio Kato, the court’s presiding judge, said in the ruling that planned protests by a rightist group around the center — the board’s reason for revoking the rental permit — are to be expected.

He said police can deal with the protests, and the meeting is thus “unlikely to unduly disrupt the activities at the center.”

According to the court, the education board granted the Aichi school union, which consists of high school teachers, a permit in October to use the center. The meeting was to prepare for meetings the All Japan Teachers and Staff Union plans to hold in Gifu Prefecture from Sunday.

But the board reversed its stance last month by revoking the permit, saying that other activities at the center would be disrupted by a rightist group’s sound trucks.

The national teachers union sought an alternative venue in Gifu, only to be rebuffed by all the municipalities it contacted, according to the court. It subsequently asked the Aichi school union to find a venue on its behalf.

With the national union’s general meeting in Gifu canceled due to the same reason, smaller panel meetings will be held instead in the city of Gifu and elsewhere.

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