• Kyodo

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The Yokohama District Court ruled Monday that it was illegal for elementary and junior high school principals in Kanagawa Prefecture to allow their teaching staff to participate in a training meeting held by a prefectural teachers’ labor union.

Presiding Judge Takayuki Kawakatsu said the principals “exceeded the area of discretionary power” by permitting the teachers to attend the meeting. He said the teachers do not have to return the pay they received during the two days they were absent from school, however.

Rieko Ito, a member of the Kamakura City Assembly, filed a lawsuit demanding that seven teachers return about 150,000 yen to the prefectural government because the meeting was a labor union activity and the teachers should have taken paid holidays to attend.

The teachers’ union has maintained that such meetings qualify as training sessions allowed under the law on civil servants in the teaching profession, not union activities.

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