• Kyodo

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A group of 107 teachers from several Kanagawa Prefecture schools filed a lawsuit Wednesday to get judicial backing for their right under the Constitution to refuse to stand before the Hinomaru flag and sing the “Kimigayo” national anthem at school ceremonies.

The Kanagawa prefectural board of education told public-school principals in November to thoroughly tell teachers to show respect to the flag and the anthem and tell those who did not stand they would face harsh measures.

While no teachers have been punished so far for not standing and singing the anthem, the 107 plaintiffs want confirmation from the Yokohama District Court that they are free to choose whether to do so, their lawyers said.

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