May 31, 2011

国歌起立命令は合憲と最高裁…米国で言う忠誠の誓い論争かな?:Japan Supreme Court rules order to stand and sing national anthem constitutional

Japan Supreme Court rejected former teacher's appeal Monday and ruled for the first time that requiring public school teachers to stand up and sing National Anthem in school ceremonies does not constitute a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution that guarantees the freedom of thought and conscience.

In Japan, some school teachers traditionally refuse to stand up and sing national anthem or oppose to national flag raising ceremony all together ( they don't have reciting the Pledge of Allegiance). Why? They claim it reminds them of the emperor worship and Japanese militarism during WW2.

The plaintiff in this case is a 64-year-old former public high school teacher who claimed that his reemployment after retirement had been rejected because he refused school principle's order to stand up to the national anthem during graduation ceremony.

The Court ruled that the requirement may indirectly limit his freedom of conscience and speech but it's still rational in light of the importance of maintaining order during the educational events.

It's an equivalent to the Pledge of Allegiance controversy in the US.   The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schoolchildren can opt out of reciting the Pledge for religious reasons (so can teachers) in 1943.  In 2004, though, the court ruled that teacher-led Pledge recitals in public schools are constitutional.



Pledge of Allegiance - 忠誠の誓い

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 私はアメリカ合衆国の国旗と、神のもとひとつとなって分かたれず全国民に自由と正義を約束する共和国に、忠誠を誓います。

この「under God」という文言は冷戦真っ只中の1954年、アイゼンハワー大統領が反共姿勢(共産主義・社会主義は神を認めない)を明確にするため、ちょちょっと加筆したものだ。

「娘が学校で暗誦させられているが、これは教育の場に宗教を持ち込まないと定めた法律に違反する」とサクラメントの無神論者マイケル・ニュードウ(Michael Newdow)さんが2000年に訴え、第9巡回区控訴裁判所は氏の主張を認めたが、最高裁がなんと「親権ないから代理人の資格なし」というウルトラC技で裁判そのものを無効化してしまった! 教師主導で暗誦させることそのものは合憲という判断だ。

ところで今でこそ米自由主義の象徴になってしまってる忠誠の誓いだけど、元々これを書いたのはフランシス・ベラミー(Francis Bellamy)で、れっきとした国家社会主義者。ローマ式にインスパイアされた元祖ベラミー式敬礼は、国家社会主義ドイツ労働者党(ナチス)そっくりだったりする!

Bellamy Salute/ベラミー式敬礼


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