A woman in Saitama who attempted to publish her haiku calling on people to protect Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has been vindicated.
She had originally written her haiku at the height of protests against Shinzo Abe’s push to allow the Self-Defense Forces to participate in “collective self-defense” overseas.
According to the Tokyo Shimbun, which does not name the haiku’s author:
The woman’s haiku was selected to for the [Mihashi Community Center’s] July 2014 newsletter at a haiku meeting. However, in June 2014, the Community Center refused to published to haiku, saying that “it was polarizing content, and its publication would damage the fairness and neutrality of the Community Center.” The woman brought an action for damages against [Saitama] city for its refusal to publish the newsletter.
In December 2017, the Supreme Court of Japan rejected final appeals from both the woman and the city government, and affirmed the appeal ruling of the Tokyo High Court, which held that the city had “damaged the author’s personality rights (人格的利益).” While the court held that the city had no obligation to publish the haiku, the city said that it would look into publishing the haiku after its appeal was dismissed.
The full apology from the Mihashi Community Center’s newsletter and the haiku as printed in the newsletter are as follows: