Japanese citizens’ group calls on city to take steps against hate speech

Japanese citizens’ group calls on city to take steps against hate speech

KAWASAKI - A local citizens' group called on the Kawasaki Municipal GovernmentKawasaki Municipal Government on December 8 to take measures against serious online hate speech, ahead of the third anniversary of the implementation of the city's human rights ordinance, the first in the nation to impose fines for hate speech.

At a Dec. 8 press conference held by the Kawasaki citizens' network fighting hate speech, a member of the group's secretariat, Tomohito Miura highly rated the deterrent effect of the ordinance, which came into effect on December 16, 2019 and fully came into effect on July 1, 2020, as a result of fines for hate speech.

After the enactment of the ordinance, the situation where unacceptable hate speech such as 'kill them' or 'die' was repeated on the streets has greatly improved, he said. He pointed out that hate speech is spreading online and that hate crimes are already happening in the city. Choi Kang-ija, a 49-year-old member of the network and a third-generation Korean resident in Japan, has been subject to serious human rights violations, including death threats against the Zainichi Korean residents of Japan and threatening letters that she will die sent to her workplace, as well as being targeted by hate speech and discrimination crimes on the internet.

Since the ordinance was created with the declaration of 'protecting citizens, we would like to support and foster it together with everyone, and expressed hope that it would be operated effectively.

The group urged the city to implement online monitoring and promote prompt removal requests to internet service providers in order to help victims.