No revision of Constitution! Stop war!
Never send our students to the battle field again!

We, teachers in Hiroshima, categorically oppose the inscription of the Self Defense Forces in the 9th clause of the Constitution and also the new introduction of “emergency clause” in it. We are firmly determined to prevent the disaster caused by war and nuclear weapons once again imminent in today’s situation.

Now as teachers responsible for education of young people we feel it our duty to declare the following points: Never send our students to the battle field again. Stop revival of war-time education which demands students “to devote their lives for the cause of the state”. Do not let education to be a tool of the state policy of mobilization to war.

We call, from Hiroshima, A-bombed city, upon our colleagues all over Japan, to join us in the action against the constitutional revision and war.

 Prime Minister Abe has declared during the presidential election campaign of the Liberal Democratic Party last autumn: “This is the time to tackle the revision of the Constitution. We must add an explicit reference to the Self-Defense Forces to the article 9 of the Constitution”. What does it mean? It brings about a fundamental change of the article 9, which has long prevented Japan from using military force or waging war, into a clause of justifying war. Constitutional revision thus means transformation of Japan from “a war-renouncing country” into “a war-making country”. The war-renouncing article 9 would be converted to article 9 with a quite contrary character in the name of “self-defense”.

 Another important issue of the planned constitutional revision is to put in “an emergency clause” which empowers the prime minster to declare the suspension of the Constitution and to proclaim martial law. Thus the whole society would be mobilized by a single order of the prime minster into a war system in an instant.

 Has there been any war carried out without claiming to be “a war for self-defense”?
The historical fact is that we, people of Hiroshima, was mobilized into an aggressive war in the name of “self-defense” and ended in experiencing A-bombing, an unprecedented atrocity in the human history. 
“Prevent war by all means!”―This has built up the fundamental starting point for us, teachers of Hiroshima.

 With an aim of repressing and destroying the consistent struggle and solid unity of teachers of Hiroshima based on this principle, the Ministry of Education resorted to an attack of enforcing flying of Hinomaru (national flag) and singing of Kimigayo (national anthem), both have been and are being tools to forge ahead with war, on the school ceremonies. Confronted with the refusal of teachers to this reactionary order, mass disciplinary measures were taken on those disobedient teachers.
Following this onslaught on the teachers, casualization of the jobs of teachers as well as privatization and outsourcing of the works of teachers have been enforced, bringing about disruption of workplaces, union busting and destruction of unity of teachers.

Such repression and intimidation, however, can never suppress our firm determination to oppose war and not to repeat the bitter history of sending young people from our class room to the battlefield. We shall never allow war or cooperate in mobilization of our students to war. We pledge to refuse to follow the state policy to teach young people that it is an honorable deed to sacrifice their lives to the state and the emperor and that the defense of the country is a social obligation. We shall never repeat the painful experience of acting as collaborators of war mobilization of our children and students.

Once the active definition of the Self-Defense Force is added to the article 9, teachers are obliged to justify in the classroom the possession of war potential, exercise of military force and self-defensive war.
Constitutional revision and educational reshaping is one and the same. Who are going to kill and who are going to be killed in the battle field? They are workers of each country. They are sacrificed to the interest of a handful ruling class and capitalists. We workers have no need of killing each other. We workers won’t wage war.

 “We never allow war” “Never send our students to the battle again” ― these are the principles that we can never renounce as teachers. Constitutional revision and war are incompatible with education of children.

All teachers of Hiroshima!
Let’s get back unity in the workplace and raise voices against constitutional revision for the promotion of war!

February 10, 2019


Sponsored by:

Hiromi Tanaka (Hiroshima-Minami Special Support Education School branch of Senior High School Teachers Union / plaintiff of the “Hinomaru/Kimigayo lawsuit” *)
Sachiko Gondai (ex-member of Senior High School Teachers Union / plaintiff of the “Hinomaru/Kimigayo lawsuit”)
Ayako Hirano (member of Yachiyodai Junior High School branch of Hiroshiam Teachers Union / plaintiff of the “Hinomaru/Kimigayo lawsuit”)
Kenji Kurazawa (member of Hiwa elementary school branch of Hiroshiam Teachers Union / disciplined by reason of taking paid holiday on August 6, Hiroshima A-bombing day)
Shin-ya Kagehisa (ex-member of Senior High School Teachers Union / plaintiff of the “Hinomaru/Kimigayo lawsuit”)
Yoshiharu Nishimoto (ex-member of Senior High School Teachers Union / ex-member of Ohno town assembly)
Yuhki Kawabata (teacher of Hiroshima Niho municipal elementary school)

Endorsed by 111 teachers as of February 28th


* "Hinomaru/Kimigayo lawsuit”:
a lawsuit to demand withdrawal of the disciplinary measures taken against the teachers who refused to stand up and sing Kimigayo in front of Hinomaru in school ceremonies.