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The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday ordered Prince Hotels Inc. and its 12 executives to pay some ¥290 million in compensation to Japan Teachers’ Union (Nikkyoso) and 1,889 teachers for canceling a contract to let the union use rooms for an annual study meeting.

The ruling is significant because it unambiguously upholds people’s right to free assembly and speech. It not only accepted in full the union’s demand for compensation, including about ¥50,000 for individual teachers, but also ordered the firm to run an apology notice in major national newspapers.

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