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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 27 - December 3  > Korean school operator protests against court ruling neglecting hate speech demonstrations
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2019 November 27 - December 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Korean school operator protests against court ruling neglecting hate speech demonstrations

November 30&December 1

An operator of schools for Korean nationals in Kyoto, Kyoto Chosen Gakuen, on November 29 criticized the Kyoto District Court for issuing a ruling that failed to censure a former member of a right-wing group, Zaitokukai, for conducting hate speech demonstrations.

The court ruling was given on this day in a defamation case brought by the school operator against Nisimura Hitoshi, an ex-top member of Zaitokukai which advocates the removal of Koreans from Japan.

According to Kyoto Chosen Gakuen, in the vicinity of a Chosen Gakuen-run elementary school, Nishimura from a loudspeaker shouted hate messages directed at the school building, including a baseless accusation that the school was involved in North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals. He videoed his actions and put videos online. The school operator in its court battle claimed that Nishimura’s acts obviously constituted racial discrimination.

The district court imposed a 500,000-yen fine on Nishimura for a slander against the Korean school operator, but avoided criminalizing his acts as hate speech demonstrations.

In response to the court decision, the counsel for Kyoto Chosen Gakuen published a statement criticizing the ruling for going against current trends towards the legalization of protections from racial discrimination and hate speech movements.

The legal team in its statement pointed out that regarding Nishimura’s hate-speech-acts, the court stated that Nishimura just intended to explain that as generally accepted, Japanese nationals had been kidnapped by North Korea, and showed its recognition that he apparently engaged in controversial acts for the “public good”. The lawyers’ group said that the court totally lacks awareness of damages to targeted people caused by hate speech demonstrations.

The lawyers’ statement expressed concerns that the court recognition will serve as a bottleneck in creating a diverse and multicultural society.

Past related article:
> High court finds hate speech demonstrations illegal [July 9, 2014]
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