From the BBC

A group of Japanese teachers who objected to being forced to sing the national anthem in schools has won a legal action in Tokyo. Some 400 teachers and librarians sued Tokyo’s government and education chiefs over a 2003 order that they raise the national flag and sing the anthem.

They objected to the ruling because of the anthem and flag’s associations with Japan’s controversial military past.

Tokyo district court ruled that the directive violated freedom of thought.

I think this ruling is very interesting because it shows the division in Japan on where the country is going at the moment.

It is also a ruling which shows that the court and legal system in Japan is strong enough to defy and criticise the Tokyo administrators. This is a healthy sign for any democracy.