Something About Japan

 

  Ienaga Textbook Lawsuit
   

The first lawsuit

In 1962 the textbook screening authority rejected a textbook which Ienaga and other scholars penned, insisting that it described the war too darkly. After modification the textbook was conditionally approved in 1963. Ienaga filed a lawsuit in 1965 against the Education Ministry claiming that textbook screening was unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of expression and education under the Article 26 of the Constitution.

The first trial
In 1965 the Tokyo District Court awarded (Kozu Judgment) that the screening system was not unconstitutional according to national education rights and that the textbook screening system is a restriction of freedom of expression for the sake of common best that should be accepted generally, and that is not equal to censorship which is prohibited under Article 21 of the Constitution. Meanwhile the court accepted Ienaga's claim partially that some of the screening decisions abused discretion and ordered the state to pay 100,000 yen to the plaintiff.

The second trial
In 1974 Ienaga appealed. In 1986 the Tokyo High Court awarded (Suzuki judgment) that the claim of the state was constitutional and there was no abuse of discretion. Ienaga lost wholly.

Appeal hearing (the third trial) 
In 1986 Ienaga appealed. In 1993 the Court of Appeal  (Kabe Judgment) followed the second trial almost all and rejected appeal. Ienaga lost wholly.

In the above lawsuit Ienaga sought compensation for his mental pain caused by the government demands for alteration of the subject text. In lawsuit a plaintiff has to seek specific solution and seeking decision that the screening system is unconstitutional does not produce any ground for filing suit. So Ienaga had to claim a certain amount of money. 

The second lawsuit

The first trial
In 1967, Ienaga filed a second suit. He sought the reversal of the  rejection in 1966 of the textbook "New Japanese History". 
In 1970, the Tokyo District Court awarded (Sugimoto Judgment) that right and wrong decision on the description in textbook is against the Article 10 of the Basic Education Law, in view of citizens' education right. Also the textbook screening corresponds to censorship that is prohibited by the Article 21.2 of the Constitution and granted the reversal. Ienaga won wholly.

The second trial
In 1970 the defendant (the Education Ministry) appealed. In 1975 the Tokyo High Court awarded (Azegami Judgment) rejected the defendant's appeal that the decision of screening had no consistency as public administration. Ienaga won wholly.

The third trial
In 1975 the defendant appealed. in 1982, the Court of Appeal pronounced that the Education Ministry guidelines has been revised already therefore the issue to be argued became whether there is benefit from the suit to seek the reversal of the rejection or not, then overturned the above judgment and ordered a retrial.

The retrial
In 1989 The Tokyo High Court revoked the judgment of the first trial and rejected the lawsuit on the ground that there is no benefit from the suit because of the revision of the Education Ministry guidelines.

The third lawsuit

The first trial
In 1984, Ienaga filed lawsuit on the rejection of 1982 textbook. I 1989 the Tokyo District Court awarded (Kato Judgment) that the screening system itself is constitutional, however, admitted the abuse of discretion in the screening process, pronouncing that screening on the description of Somotai (Somo unit) is unconstitutional and ordered the state to pay 100,000 yen to the plaintiff.

The second trial
In 1989 Ienaga appealed. in 1993 the Tokyo High Court awarded (Kawakami Judgment) that the screening system itself is constitutional, however, admitted the abuse of discretion in the screening process, pronouncing that screening on the description of Nanjing Massacre and Rape of Nanjing by the military army is unconstitutional as well as the description of Somotai and ordered the state to pay 300,000 yen.

The third trial
In 1993 Ienaga appealed. In 1997 the Court of Appeal awarded (Oono Judgment) that the screening system itself is constitutional, however, admitted the abuse of discretion in the screening process, pronouncing that screening on the description of Unit 731, the Japanese Imperial Army's notorious biological warfare unit, which conducted experiments on live prisoners in northeastern China during the war. and Rape of Nanjing in Nanjing Massacre is unconstitutional as well as Somotai (Somo Unit) and ordered the state to pay 400,000 yen to the defendant. Ienaga's argument that the screening is tantamount to censorship was rejected.

After the trial
The most significant point of argument in the lawsuit was Ienaga's claim that the screening system was unconstitutional. However, the Court of Appeal handed down the decision that the screening does not prevent the textbook to be published as ordinary book and it has no purpose for banning or reviewing before publication, therefore it is not regarded censorship and the system is determined to be constitutional. This judgment is supported by many scholars. Decision against Ienaga was finalized practically.

The rejected textbook was published as ordinary book from San-itsu-shobo in 1974.

 

   Kajiyama Toshiyuki Dogeza Jiken
   

Toshiyuki Kajiyama (1930 - 1975)

Born in Korea. His father was high class officer of Japanese government in Korea. Japan ruled Korea then. 
Kajiyama started his career as reportage writer for weekly magazine. In 1962 he published his fast book and became one of most popular writers in Japan being ranked the highest income earner among writers. His genre extended to business, industrial espionage and many other fields. He collected materials for his books by interviewing people in various sectors.
As such, he was a one of most hard working writer of hardboiled, excitement, and entertainment stories yet he was conscientious man.

Once he visited Korea for business or something, he was interviewed by Korean reporters. The details on the spot were unknown, but one of reporters asked him if he knew about the history - what Japanese army or government had done to the Korean people. He said yes. What do you think about it? To the question of the reporter he lost his words. After a while he slipped out his chair quietly and fell on his knees, "I beg for your forgiveness."

The photo of his dogeza (fall on one's knees to ask for pardon) appeared in the Japanese media (maybe in Korea also, or maybe not.) I found myself doing so - it was natural way to express my feeling, later he told so. He was not politically involved in anything in his life. Some valued his behavior, some denounced.

 

 

 

 


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