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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007

Suit against new education law gets short shrift

Staff writer

A group of 245 people suing the government and five lawmakers over the constitutionality of the 2006 revision to the Fundamental Law of Education said at the trial's first session Wednesday that teaching patriotism in school violates freedom of thought and promotes nationalism.

Speaking at the Tokyo District Court, the group, which calls itself People Loving Fundamental Law on Education of 1947 in Our Own Pockets, demanded that the state and the lawmakers, including former education minister Takashi Kosugi and New Komeito leader Akihiro Ota, pay each member ¥10, or a total of ¥2,450, in compensation for emotional suffering.

The plaintiffs said the court should use the power of judicial review to monitor unconstitutional acts perpetrated by lawmakers and should not take the case lightly despite their token compensation demand.

But the judges ended deliberations immediately after the plaintiffs spoke and said a ruling would be handed down at the next session, which has not yet been scheduled.

The defense team did not verbally respond to the allegations and the lawmakers named did not attend the session.

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The Japan Times

Article 5 of 9 in National news

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