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  • Good news: Rightist sentenced to a year in jail for harassing company using Korean actress in their advertising

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 27th, 2012

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    Hi Blog.  A bit of good news.  A member of a nasty Rightist group was sentenced to a year in jail for harassing a Japanese company for using a Korean actress in its advertising.  That’s hopeful, as we are seeing examples of xenophobia in Japan going beyond internet and political-arena bile (as well as signposted exclusionism) and into the street for race-bating and interpersonal confrontation.  Without some kind of brake like this court decision, it’s only a matter of time before somebody goes too far and we have race riots in Japan.

    I would have liked to have seen a little more detail in the article below about the timeline of the harassment.  I can speak from personal experience that it can take a year or more between an event and a conclusive court decision in Japan, so how responsive is Japan’s judiciary being here?  Also, note that this case is not punishing somebody for hate speech against an ethnic group or a person in Japan — it’s protecting a Japanese company against threatening behavior, a bit different.  I will be more reassured when we have a (similarly criminal, not civil) case involving arrest, prosecution, and jail time for an individual threatening an individual on the grounds of his/her ethnicity/national origin.  But I don’t think that will happen under the current legal regime, as “the government does not think that Japan is currently in a situation where dissemination of racial discriminatory ideas or incitement of racial discrimination are conducted to the extent that the government must consider taking legislative measures for punishment against dissemination of racial discriminatory idea, etc. at the risk of unjustly atrophying lawful speech…

    That assessment was made by the MOFA to the UN more than a decade ago.  Given what I see are xenophobic tidings in Japan these days, I think it’s time for an update.  Arudou Debito

    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Nationalist sent to jail after harassing company using Korean actress in advertising
    By Adam Westlake / December 18, 2012 / Courtesy JK
    http://japandailypress.com/nationalist-sent-to-jail-after-harassing-company-using-korean-actress-in-advertising-1820111

    A court in Japan has sentenced an extreme nationalist to one year in jail after he began a hate-based harassment campaign against a Japanese company that used a popular South Korean actress in its magazine and television advertising. The situation peaked when 44 year old Hitoshi Nishimura, along with three other men, forced their way into the Osaka headquarters of the pharmaceutical firm and demanded to know why the company was using someone with an anti-Japanese background.

    Nishimura said the actress Kim Tae-Hee was a South Korean activist herself when he entered the Rohto Pharmaceutical building and began making angry threats. He stated Kim participated in activities that asserted Seoul’s claims over the disputed Dokdo / Takeshima Islands, which are located in between Japan and South Korea, and have been the source of tensions for decades. In video footage of the intrusion, Nishimura is seen as yelling at the company’s officials and claiming to represent “angry Japanese throughout the country.”

    The court sentenced Nishimura to a one-year jail term for making threatening acts, but no information has been released on the other three men. While somewhat overshadowed by the eruption of escalating tensions between China and Japan, the latest round of the territorial dispute with South Korea was kicked off in August when President Lee Myung-Bak made an unexpected visit to the islands. This resulted in protest from the Japanese government, as well as back-and-forth displays of nationalism on both sides. In one example, a group of South Korean swimmers, including a celebrity athlete, swam in a relay to the islands. Vocal groups in Japan began criticizing television broadcasters that showed Korean dramas, and even recently Korean pop-music acts have been left out of events and getting less airtime.

    [via My Sinchew]

    ENDS

    14 Responses to “Good news: Rightist sentenced to a year in jail for harassing company using Korean actress in their advertising”

    1. Baudrillard Says:

      “and even recently Korean pop-music acts have been left out of events and getting less airtime.”

      So when China stops exporting rare earth to Japan, Japan cannot complain. They cannot seem to separate issues, can they? As Weber pointed out, a Statist Communist regime and a capitalist regime are both the same in terms of rationalization. Micro management of people’s lives.

    2. dr dennis h love Says:

      Other perspectives, whatever you make of them: http://www.activistpost.com/2012/12/japan-election-incredible-dissociation.html See other articles at the bottom of that page.

    3. Jim Di Griz Says:

      You’re absolutely correct Debito. A Japanese company being protected from a man ‘making threats’. So, even whilst his behavior may have been racially motivated, it is not that point which the law has concerned itself with, and the ‘victim’ is Japanese. Not much progress there then, is there really.
      As for separating issues, it will be interesting how any attempt by Abe to review the Kono statement about Japanese accountability for the systemic rape of Korean women (sorry, I should use the warm and fuzzy term ‘comfort women’) during the war, will be received by Korea’s new female President Park.

    4. Norik Says:

      I saw the news on TV. The guy, dressed in very nice, expensive looking clothes, with few of his thugs by his side, actually personally attacked the employee who met him to hear his claims. He asked the employee, a man, his face not seen, if he personally believes that Takeshima/Dokdo is Japanese territory, and when the employee tried to avoid a direct answer, which could be seen as a political statement by the media, Nishimura started threatening him, doing the yakuza talk (“Korrrra” stuff), banging on the table and kicking chairs. If I was that employee, I would be really scared, because clearly Nishimura is not alone. There is someone paying for his nice clothes and his time.

    5. Oliver Says:

      This is a news clip from Youtube about Nishimura:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpROiE45_Es

      And a full recording of their visit to Rohto:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7sYURlH_Io

      – Good stuff. Thanks for this. What a shame the original article blanches out so many of the important details of this case. The sentencing of Nishimura was pretty quick by Japanese standards, more good news. And despite what deniers have tried to argue on Debito.org, there is no law (as acknowledged in the news clip) against hate speech in Japan.

    6. dude Says:

      I totally agree with Jim Di Griz – Japanese law protecting Japanese company.

    7. debito Says:

      2012年12月19日 13:51 (サーチナ)
      「キム・テヒCM起用するな」日本の脅迫犯に実刑判決=韓国
      http://topics.jp.msn.com/entertainment/china/article.aspx?articleid=1577678

       韓国人女優のキム・テヒさんをCMのモデルに起用した製薬会社「ロート製薬」に竹島に関する見解を無理に回答させたとして、強要罪に問われた日本の西村斉被告(44)に、大阪地裁が18日、懲役1年(求刑懲役1年6月)の判決を言い渡した。

       韓国メディアは、「女優キム・テヒをモデルに起用した会社を脅迫した日本の右派系団体の幹部に、実刑が言い渡された」と相次ぎ報じた。

       報道によると、西村被告ら4人は2012年3月、ロート製薬を訪れ、「キム・テヒは竹島を韓国領土だと宣伝する反日活動家だ」などと述べ、キムさんをCMに起用しないよう要求し、会社の関係者が回答する場面をインターネットの動画サイトに掲載したりメールで回答を強要した。

       西村被告は日本の右派系団体「在日特権を許さない市民の会」(在特会)の幹部。団体側はホームページを通じ、控訴する方針を明らかにしている。

       韓国メディアによると、同団体はキムさんが2005年にスイスで“独島キャンペーン”に参加したことを問題視し、これまで何度も日本での活動を妨害した。韓国の一部メディアは、実刑が言い渡されたことで「キム・テヒの日本での活動は自由になるだろうか?」と伝えた。(編集担当:新川悠)

    8. debito Says:

      ロート製薬脅した被告に実刑判決 韓国女優CM起用巡り
      朝日新聞 2012年12月18日
      http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1218/OSK201212180046.html

       韓国人女優キム・テヒさんのテレビCM起用を巡り、大手医薬品製造会社「ロート製薬」(大阪市)を脅したとして強要罪に問われた西村斉(ひとし)被告(44)の判決が18日、大阪地裁であった。石井俊和裁判官は「活動目的のためには他者を傷つけて顧みない犯行だ」として、懲役1年(求刑懲役1年6カ月)の実刑を言い渡した。

       判決によると、西村被告は3月、他の男3人と同社を訪問。日韓が領有権を主張する日本海の竹島問題について「(キムさんは)竹島は韓国の領土と宣伝する反日活動家。CMに使ったらだめでしょう」「右翼紹介したる」などと対応した社員を脅し、竹島に関する会社の見解を回答するよう約束させた。

      弁護側は公判で「正当な抗議活動だ」と無罪を主張したが、石井裁判官は「突然押しかけ、脅し上げる行為を合法とみなす余地はない」と退けた。
      ends

    9. debito Says:

      ロート製薬に「竹島」見解強要、男に実刑判決 韓国女優のCM起用で因縁
      産経新聞 2012.12.18 11:20 [芸能人の不祥事]
      http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/news/121218/trl12121811200001-n1.htm

       ロート製薬(大阪市生野区)が人気韓国人女優キム・テヒさんをCM起用したことに因縁をつけ、竹島に関する会社の見解を無理に回答させたとして、強要罪に問われた西村斉被告(44)に、大阪地裁(石井俊和裁判官)が18日、懲役1年の判決を言い渡した。求刑は懲役1年6月。

       検察側は「右翼を紹介したる」などと担当者を脅したと指摘。被告側は「要求を会社に伝えるよう担当者に依頼しただけ。脅迫してない」と否認した。

       起訴状では、3月2日午後、ほかの男3人=同罪で起訴=と共謀し、ロート製薬応接室でキムさんについて「竹島を韓国領だと宣伝する反日の政治活動家だ」と言い掛かりをつけ、同社に竹島は日本の領土だと回答させ、義務のないことを行わせたとしている。
      ends

      Other news articles repeated here:
      https://www.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=jp&hl=ja&q=%E3%83%AD%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88%E8%A3%BD%E8%96%AC%E3%80%80%E8%A5%BF%E6%9D%91%E6%96%89&ncl=dRwuiZEy_1s9_nMGm05GQAqMicR-M&cf=all&scoring=d

    10. Johnny Says:

      Pretty sure I’ve seen these chaps in action in the past. Nasty pieces of work.

    11. Johnny Says:

      The comments below that youtube clip are pretty telling as well. At the end of the day though I agree with Jim, the J authorities are merely protecting a J company. Race not a factor in any of that.

    12. Becky Says:

      @Johnny#10
      I had the same feeling of deja vu, then I watched the first video and suddenly remember where I’d see that man before: he was the ringleader of a bunch of right-wing thugs who were harassing a Korean school in Kyoto. The fact that we remember his face is a sure sign that he’s a charismatic fellow, quite good at cultivating not-very-bright followers, and it’s scary to think of what a person like him could do if he ever got into power.
      Don’t want to go all Godwin’s on you, but here’s a thought:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20237437#TWEET354212

      As an aside, I was struck by the usage of the English term “hate speech” in the first video. Is there no linguistic equivalent in Japanese? Or, as with the term domestic violence (which has a Japanese equivalent, kateinai-bouryoku), do they simply prefer the English term? I can think of a few examples, such as sexual harassment, or more recently power harassment, which have made their way into the Japanese language, albeit in katakana-ized and abbreviated forms. I wonder if this is a distancing phenomenon. Do Japanese people seriously believe that these behaviours originated overseas, and were imported to Japan only recently?

      Please let me know if you can think of any other examples.

      – “Hate speech” is 嫌悪発言 (ken’o hatsugen) in clinical-sounding kanji. There are other equivalents that come off as shrink-speak and sound more accessible when stated in katakana. Check your newspapers — will generally give the katakana loanword and then the kanji as the definition. I don’t think it is much of a distancing phenomenon as it is easier to understand (you don’t have to envision the kanji in your head to get the meaning, whereas “hate” and “speech” are basic English words taught everyone in public education). One exception: 公民権 kōminken, “civil rights,” commonly used in reference to the American Civil Rights movement under Martin Luther King Jr., not so much in Japanese contexts (more often used are shiminken or jinken).

    13. Welp Says:

      @#12
      In regards to “human rights”/人権 here, the problem is that it is really ill-defined. Being physically attacked by someone is a human rights issue here (which, come to think of it, means that the new ‘verbal argument = domestic violence’ thing could be as well), but being discriminated against based upon ones ethnicity isn’t. Being discriminated against because of ones ‘family origins’ (see: Hashimoto vs Asahi), however, apparently /is/ a human rights violation.

      Like a lot of things here it’s incredibly schizophrenic and unclear, likely because – and this is just my opinion – the Japanese didn’t have to develop these concepts on their own, but rather brought them in from the outside world. They managed to kind of shoehorn it into Japan but it still doesn’t really fit all that well, kind of like their take on parliamentary democracy or the legal system.

    14. Jim Di Griz Says:

      Interestingly, it seems that Sick-note’s intention to remove ideas of civil liberties and human rights, along with his ‘time-warp’ nationalistic agenda, are starting to get some attention;

      http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/the-deeper-agenda-behind-abenomics-constitutional-change

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