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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 15 - 21  > JCP welcomes Kawasaki city’s guidelines to regulate hate speech
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2017 November 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP welcomes Kawasaki city’s guidelines to regulate hate speech

November 17, 2017
The government of Kawasaki City (Kanagawa Pref.), which has a population of 1.5 million and is located close to Tokyo, will implement guidelines to restrict hate speech in March 2018. The Japanese Communist Party which works to eliminate such discriminatory acts welcomed the guidelines as a big first step accomplished through collaboration between citizens and the city administration.

The city government established the guidelines in line with the law which came into force in June 2016 to deter hate speech.

JCP member of the Kawasaki City Assembly Katayanagi Susumu in an Akahata interview on November 17 referred to repeated hate speech demonstrations in Kawasaki. He said, “JCP Dietmember Hatano Kimie and JCP lawmakers at the city and at the prefectural level jointly with concerned citizens staged struggles against hate speech, which contributed to introducing the city’s new measures.”

In the Akahata interview Katayanagi recalled his questioning about the guidelines in the November session of the city assembly.

The new guidelines aim to remove hate speech from parks, civic halls, and other public facilities. Under the guidelines, an application to use public facilities will be accepted on the condition that there is no possibility that discriminatory words and actions will be allowed. Regarding applications suspected of organizing hate speech, the city will decide whether to accept the application or not after conducting information gathering and hearings with the applicant and people concerned.

In an assembly meeting, Katayanagi expressed his concern that unnecessary investigation might be undertaken under the guise of carefully examining possibilities for hate-filled gatherings. City officials in reply said that they will be careful not to conduct investigations that appear to infringe on the individual right to freedom of thought and conscience.

Katayanagi said to Akahata, “We need to press the government to utilize the guidelines in an appropriate manner. After the implementation of the new measures, we, the city assemblypersons’ group, will work even harder to never allow hate speech to be publicly expressed in Kawasaki.”

Past related articles:
> 30% of foreign residents in Japan experience discriminatory remarks: gov’t survey [April 3, 2017]
> JCP Secretariat Head Koike at Korean ceremony: I’ll work to end hate speech [August 16, 2016]

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