I just read an article
on the Daily Yomiuri site that would have been very welcome about 3 years ago, and still should be to anyone teaching in Japan.
There is a lot of noise going down now about proposed changes to the Basic Education Law - mostly complaints about PM Abe's intention to include some rubric about patriotism, which makes lily-livered coffee-pot worriers fear a return to the shit that got Japan into the Pacific War. Come on! Japan is a very different place than it was 70 years ago, a responsible member of the global community, and I can't see them walking out of the UN again. On the other hand, they should have more power within it. But that's another story. The point here is that it's just a stupid, empty gesture to pander to nationalists and make people stop talking about other issues.
But the other, more interesting, point came out in the article - that the pessimistically-named Education Rebuilding Council has requested a redefinition of the "corporal punishment" that is legally prohibited - they want more leeway to punish students.
Obviously, we are not talking about corporal punishment in the Ben Dover sense. What they are more interested in is the inability of teachers to remove a student from class who is disrupting the lesson - currently illegal, in that all students have the right to learn (in class). A provision that ignores the fact that so do all the other students who are having that right infringed upon by the "bad" kid.
I don't want to get into school psychology and why these incidents might occur, but even in the best of classes, they certainly can and do. If teachers can't remove troublemakers (to the principal's office or the counselor's room, for example) then, they are, in the words of panel member Hiroyuki Yoshiie, being "told to go into battle with both arms and legs tied" - an "irresponsible" situation. Even without the dramatic metaphor, you get the point, and I think so would most teachers in Japan.