The Osaka Prefectural Board of Education has revealed that eight teachers in the prefecture declined to stand and sing the Japanese national anthem at high school graduation ceremonies which took place on Friday.
The reports come days after the Supreme Court dismissed two suits from 375 teachers and educational professionals requesting a ban on the enforced singing of the “Kimigayo,” Japan’s national anthem, in schools. The court earlier this month ruled 4-1 that such orders are constitutional.
The issue of enforced singing of the Japanese national anthem has long been a contentious one, with many teachers refusing to stand and sing the song at school. In some cases, dissenting teachers received reprimands, pay cuts or were suspended.
The court ruled that ordering teachers to sing the “Kimigayo” did not violate their freedom of thought, which was the basis for the plaintiffs’ claim, NTV reported.
Speaking to reporters after the graduation ceremonies, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said, "Perhaps these people mistakenly think they have the right to continue as public servants no matter what they do. I'd like to see an end put to this behavior."
According to NTV, the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education said that the eight employees in question would be dealt with according to the law.
Earlier this month, a proposal was put forward at the national assembly to introduce a law whereby an education professional refusing to sing the national anthem for the third time would be subject to dismissal. The board added that if the law is approved, the eight teachers involved in this month's incident could eventually face dismissal.© Japan Today