The United Nations’ The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination last week issued a report urging to Japan to crack down on the growing cases of “hate speech” targeting foreigners in Japan, especially hate speech against ethnic Koreans and other minorities. Japan currently has no law forbidding speech that promotes racism, sexism or violent attacks on minorities. Violent acts committed on the basis of racist and/or religious prejudice aka “hate crimes” are also not forbidden in Japan.
The panel suggested that Japan introduce legislation to outlaw hate-speech, investigate groups and/or individuals that take part, and prosecute them. Since the Abe administration took power in 2012, incidents of anti-korean protests and hostility towards ethnic koreans in Japan, as well as other foreigners, have become more noticeable and strident. The far-right, at their rallies, often demands “an end to special treatment of Korean Japanese” and for their expulsion. The far right and the internet centred new right wing (ネット右翼、ネットウヨ）also campaign for revisionist histories of Japan and the banishment of all foreigners, not just ethnic Koreans.
The panel also suggested that Japan should reprimand and sanction public officials and politicians who engage in hate speech or promote intolerance. The previous governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, made several racist statements that did not advance the image of Japan.
Japan joined the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1995. Since then the committee has given Japan two improvement orders and this time was the third. The panel asserted that the Japanese government should work on accepting its past history of aggression and exploitation of non-Japanese during Japan’s imperial era, and that it should also work on eliminating discrimination against foreign workers. It did not directly address Japan’s shoddy treatment of foreign nationals, who must pay taxes, but are legally denied the welfare benefits from doing so.
The UN committee does not give ratings to countries on well they are doing in “eliminating racial discrimination” but the essence of third improvement order to Japan was: “you’re failing miserably. Do something.” And sure enough, according to some reports, the ruling coalition is moving forwards to draft some kind of legislation banning: “hate crimes”.
However, many in the legal community feel that the current government will use the new anti “hate crime” legislation to stifle anti-nuclear protests or criticism of the government. The Liberal Democratic Party hates criticism. It’s win-win situation for the Japanese government of Japan. They can save face with the UN while shutting up those annoying anti-nuclear protestors or perhaps even critics of the government. Actually combatting racism doesn’t need to be done at all.
3 thoughts on “The UN Hates Japan’s Hate Speech Indifference; LDP May Love Chance To Shut Up Protesters”
I am always taken aback when I see these kind of headlines in the weekly periodical advertisements hanging in the train. It is quite the linguistic onslaught on the morning commute into the city.
The subject of Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 always generates a volatile debate. The rightists and self-proclaimed historical revisionists proclaim that Japan did much to advance the development of Korea, while the leftists argue that Japan’s efforts to invest in and develop infrastructure were primarily for Japan’s own gain, and not for the betterment of Korea. I noticed that one of the headlines on the cover of the magazine pictured in this article states 日韓合邦は断じて植民地政策ではない. In his book フライジャイルな闘い：日本の行方, Seigo Matsuoka makes the following statement:
“At that time (1910), Korea was referred to as Chosen. In one way, Japan treated Korea just like family, but in another respect, it sought to transform it into a colony.
Modern history has yet to really shed light on this relationship, so perhaps some might consider this to fall outside the definition of “colony”. European powers such as Portugal, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and France all adopted their own form of colonial policy in Asia, with many differences between the respective policies of each nation. That being said, these powers sought to transform Asia nations into their own tributaries, or create some form of “consolidated” relationship. This is why it’s impossible to claim that (what Japan was doing in Korea) wasn’t a form of colonization.”
Pretty hard to argue with the point raised there.
That’s an excellent point. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 😀
No problem. Glad I was able to provide some insight.
I can’t recommend that book enough. It delves deep into the intellectual undercurrents that shaped modern Japanese history, stretching back to the beginning of the Edo period and the Tokugawa Bakufu’s quest to assert its legitimacy. A lot of information to digest, but well worth it.