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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 11 - 17  > Japan’s legislature makes a big step forward to end hate speech
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2016 May 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan’s legislature makes a big step forward to end hate speech

May 13 & 14, 2016
The House of Councilors on May 13 passed a bill to eradicate the acts of hate speech through the plenary session by majority vote, and sent the bill to the House of Representatives.

Hate speech and harassment against Korean residents living in Japan have become so serious that victims and many people have been calling for the eradication of these acts. Pressed by the increasing public demand, the ruling parties presented the anti-hate speech bill.

The Japanese Communist Party voted for the bill, assessing the bill a significant step forward for the Diet, the highest organ of state power, to show its strong determination to work to put an end to hate speech actions.

At the previous day’s committee meeting of the Upper House, JCP Nihi Sohei in speaking for the bill called on all the Dietmembers present to do their utmost to eliminate hate speech.

At the same time, Nihi pointed out that the bill, however, does not make clear the meaning of the wording “unfair discriminatory speech and behavior” and obscures the illegality of hate speech.

He demanded that the bill include the essence of the Japanese Constitution banning discrimination based on race and ethnicity as well as the intent of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In response to the point Nihi brought up, the bill proposers and attending lawmakers discussed what specific words and deeds should be eradicated.

As a result, they confirmed that “unfair discriminatory speech and behavior” is to incite racial hatred to exclude “people from outside of Japan” from community. They also confirmed that speech and behavior criticizing the government and the U.S. military will not be targeted. They, however, failed to include these phrases in the amendment to the bill.

Past related articles:
> Osaka City assembly adopts ordinance bill to regulate hate speech [January 16, 2016]
> Hate speeches invited by state shirking responsibility for prewar massacre: lawyer [October 23, 2013]
> Citizens petition gov’t to prevent hate speech [October 22, 2013]
> Court recognizes hate speech as racism [October 8, 2013]
> Hate speech should never be tolerated: JCP [June 23, 2013]
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