Tokyo Shimbun: vindication for an Article 9 haiku

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:

女性の句は句会で、たよりの二〇一四年七月号の掲載句に選出されたが、公民館側が同年六月に「世論を二分する内容で、掲載は公民館の公平性、中立性を害する」として掲載を拒否。女性は一五年に句の掲載と損害賠償を求め、市を提訴した。

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.

最高裁が昨年十二月に女性と市双方の上告を退け、「作者の人格的利益を侵害した」などとした二審東京高裁判決が確定。判決では掲載義務はないとされたが、市は上告棄却後に句を掲載する意向を示していた。

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:

Screenshot 2019-02-01 at 9.25.15 AM