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Court upholds anthem rule

JAPAN: The Tokyo district court ruled last week that a teacher had no right to refuse to play Japan's de facto national anthem during a state elementary school ceremony in 1999. The teacher, Yuske Satoh, from a Toyko junior school, had sought a repeal of the education board's decision to reprimand him. He argued that Japan's freedom of expression legislation had entitled him to reject the anthem. Previously few schools raised the Japanese national flag or played the anthem because of their militaristic overtones. However, the government is now keen on patriotism and has ordered that both symbols be honoured at all schools. Judge Yukio Yamaguchi said that public servants' freedom of thought and conscience are subject to restraint when working. due to their official status.

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