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    Posted by arudou debito on October 8th, 2013

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    Hi Blog.  Good news from the Japanese judiciary.  A lower court in Kyoto has finally ruled for the first time that a) hate speech exists in Japan, b) it is an illegal activity, subject to restriction, sanction, and penalty, and c) it is covered under international treaty (since Japan has no law against hate speech) such as the UN CERD.

    That is a hat trick in terms of jurisprudence (on par with the Ana Bortz Case and the Otaru Onsens Case, although they were arguably more about issues of business and access to services than abstract concepts like freedom of speech).

    Let’s hope a higher court does not overturn this.  But I think the zealous bigots at Zaitokukai are realizing they’ve gone too far and set a spoiler precedent. About time — when their followers advocate murder and massacre of an ethnic minority, I think that’s when even timorous Japanese judges, who are sensitive to media attention, have to draw a line somewhere.  Here’s where it was drawn.  Articles from the Mainichi/Kyodo and Japan Times follow.  Arudou Debito

    PS:  And in case you find the title of this blog entry a bit odd:  Yes, there are legal forms of racial discrimination in Japan — the “rational” ones.  It takes a court to decipher which ones are “rational discrimination” (gouriteki sabetsu) and which aren’t.

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

    Court orders anti-Korean activists to pay damages over hate speech

    Mainichi Shinbun,Courtesy of JK
    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20131007p2g00m0dm051000c.html

    KYOTO (Kyodo) — The Kyoto District Court ordered anti-Korean activists Monday to pay damages for disrupting classes at a Korean school by staging a demonstration during which they directed hate speech at the ethnic Korean community in Japan, banning them from staging further demonstrations.

    It is the first court decision in connection with hate speech, which fans discrimination and hatred toward a certain race or minority, lawyers for the school said.
    October 07, 2013 (Mainichi Japan)

    Revised version:

    Anti-Korean activists ordered to pay 12 million yen over hate speech demonstrations
    October 07, 2013 (Mainichi Japan) Courtesy of MS
    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20131007p2a00m0na016000c.html

    KYOTO — The Kyoto District Court on Oct. 7 ordered anti-Korean activists to pay 12.2 million yen in damages for disrupting classes at a Korean school through a demonstration in front of the school in which they used loudspeakers to disseminate hate speech.

    The court decision came after the operator of Kyoto Korean Primary School sued the “Zainichitokken o Yurusanai Shimin no Kai” (Zaitokukai), a citizens group against special rights for Koreans, and its former members, demanding 30 million yen in compensation and a ban on anti-Korean demonstrations within a radius of 200 meters from the school.

    Presiding Judge Hitoshi Hashizume concluded that the group’s actions, including promoting its demonstrations on the Internet, aimed to fan discrimination and hatred toward Koreans living in Japan. It is the first court decision that recognized these anti-ethnic Korean demonstrations as a form of racial discrimination banned under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

    The ruling discussed if freedom of expression secured under the Japanese Constitution could apply to the Zaitokukai’s demonstrations from December 2009 to March 2010, during which group members delivered hate speeches using words such as “Kick Korean schools out of Japan!” and “You guys smell like kimchi” and “These students are children of spies!” through loudspeakers at the school in Kyoto’s Minami Ward.

    The ruling is hoped to prevent similar anti-Korean hate speech-fuelled rallies held mainly in Tokyo’s Shin-okubo district and Osaka, and is expected to spark debate on laws and regulations against such movements.

    Meanwhile, Zaitokukai’s vice chairman Yasuhiro Yagi said, “We’re disappointed that the legitimacy of our actions were denied. We’ll decide whether or not to appeal after studying the verdict.”

    ENDS

    Original Japanese story:

    朝鮮学校授業妨害:街宣損賠訴訟 在特会街宣に賠償命令 「人種差別で違法」 朝鮮学校周辺、活動禁止−−京都地裁判決
    毎日新聞 2013年10月07日 東京夕刊
    http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20131007dde001040010000c.html

    京都朝鮮第一初級学校(京都市)の校門前で行われた学校を中傷する大音量の街頭宣伝などヘイトスピーチ(憎悪表現)で授業を妨害されたとして、同校を運営する京都朝鮮学園(京都市右京区)が、「在日特権を許さない市民の会(在特会)」と元メンバーら9人を相手取り、3000万円の損害賠償と同校の半径200メートル以内での街宣活動禁止を求めた訴訟の判決が7日、京都地裁であった。橋詰均裁判長は在特会の街宣を「著しく侮蔑的な発言を伴い、人種差別撤廃条約が禁ずる人種差別に該当する」と認定した。

    学校事業に損害を与えたとして在特会側に1226万円を支払うよう命じた。学校周辺の街宣活動についても請求通り禁止を命じた。いわゆるヘイトスピーチの違法性を認定したのは全国で初めて。裁判所が、ヘイトスピーチとして問題になっている特定の民族に対する差別街宣について「人種差別」と判断したことで、東京・新大久保や大阪で繰り返される在日コリアンを標的にした差別街宣への抑止効果が予想され、ヘイトスピーチの法規制議論を促すことになるとみられる。

    判決は、2009年12月〜10年3月、在特会メンバーらが京都朝鮮第一初級学校(当時。現在は京都朝鮮初級学校=京都市伏見区=に移転)に押しかけ、「朝鮮学校を日本からたたき出せ」「何が子どもじゃ、スパイの子やんけ」などと拡声機で怒号を浴びせた演説について、憲法が保障する「表現の自由」の範囲内かどうかなどについて検討した。

    橋詰裁判長は街宣やその映像をインターネットで公開した行為について「在日朝鮮人に対する差別意識を世間に訴える意図のもとに示威活動及び映像公開をしたものと認められ、人種差別に該当」と判断した。

    朝鮮学校側の「民族教育権」が侵害されたとの主張については、言及しなかった。【松井豊】

    ◇子どもの励みに−−原告弁護団長

    原告側の塚本誠一弁護団長は「同種の街宣事案について、強い抑止効果を発揮すると期待している。日本全国の朝鮮学校で学んでいる子どもたちの大きな励みになる」と話した。

    ◇認められず残念−−在特会副会長

    在特会の八木康洋副会長は「我々の行為が正当であると認められなかったのは非常に残念。判決文を精査して控訴するかどうかを考えたい」と話した。

    ==============

    Mainichi Shinbun Editorial, courtesy of MS:

    Editorial: Ruling that hate speech constitutes racial discrimination is rational
    October 08, 2013 (Mainichi Japan)
    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20131008p2a00m0na018000c.html

    A recent court ruling that stated that any hate speech campaign targeting particular races and ethnic groups constitutes racial discrimination and is illegal should be regarded as a rational judgment. It is hoped that the ruling, the first of its kind, will lead to the prevention of hate speeches, which have been conducted in neighborhoods of Tokyo, Osaka and other regions where many Korean residents are living and has developed into a serious social problem.

    The Kyoto District Court ordered members of Zaitokukai, or a citizens group that “does not tolerate privileges for Korean residents in Japan,” which organized one of such campaigns, to pay 12.26 million yen in damages to the operator of a pro-Pyongyang Korean school in Japan. The court also banned the group from engaging in such street propaganda campaigns.

    In the ruling, the court concluded that the defendants obstructed the school’s business and defamed the plaintiffs by blaring through loudspeakers, “Descendents of illegal immigrants,” and “Destroy Korean schools,” and uploading the footage of the campaign online.

    The district court went on to recognize that the defendants’ campaign falls under “distinction and exclusion based on race or ethnic origin,” which is banned under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The court also expressed its view that the amount of compensation for any form of racial discrimination, such as the hate speech by Zaitokukai, is higher in accordance with the convention.

    Zaitokukai claimed that it launched the campaign in question to protest against the school for using a neighboring park as a sports ground without permission from the Kyoto Municipal Government, which manages the park. However, the court ruled that regardless of whether Zaitokukai’s claim was true, the defendants’ campaign is illegal because it was obviously aimed at spreading a sense of discrimination against Korean residents throughout society. The court also dismissed Zaitokukai’s claim that its freedom to express political views should be protected, noting that the hate speech did not contain anything that served the common good and was nothing but an insult.

    Freedom of expression is an important part of fundamental human rights. As such, the freedom to express opinions through demonstrations should be guaranteed. However, hate speeches could impair the dignity of Korean residents and other targets and foster prejudice against foreigners and exclusionism in Japan’s society.

    In South Korea and China, these demonstrations in Japan are widely reported online, stirring anti-Japan sentiment. We must prevent such campaigns, launched by only a small portion of Japanese people, from contributing to the worsening of Japan’s relations with South Korea and China.

    The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Japan is a party, has a clause requiring parties to punish those involved in hate speeches. Some European countries legally slap punishments on those involved in such campaigns.

    However, Japan has reserved its ratification of this clause in the convention for fear that should it enact legislation imposing criminal punishment on those involved in such campaigns, it could lead to excessive controls on freedom of speech and other forms of expression. Actually, the latest ruling has demonstrated that existing legislation can control hate speeches.

    The ruling highlighted the common sense of not tolerating discrimination based on race and ethnic origin. It is important to ensure social consensus to avoid any words and deeds that impair individuals’ dignity from taking form in Japanese society. Japan should improve its efforts through education and other means to nurture people’s notion of human rights.

    ENDS
    Original Japanese story:

    社説:ヘイトスピーチ 差別許さぬ当然の判決
    毎日新聞 2013年10月08日 東京朝刊

    http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20131008ddm005070155000c.html

    特定の人種や民族への憎しみをあおるヘイトスピーチ(憎悪表現)と呼ばれる言動の違法性を認める初めての司法判断が示された。東京や大阪などの在日韓国・朝鮮人が多く住む地域などで繰り返され、社会問題化しているこうした行為の歯止めにつながることを望みたい。

    朝鮮学校を運営する学校法人が、「在日特権を許さない市民の会(在特会)」や会員らに損害賠償などを求めた訴訟で、京都地裁は1226万円の賠償を命じ、学校周辺での街宣活動も禁止した。「密入国の子孫」「朝鮮学校をぶっ壊せ」と怒鳴り上げ、その様子を撮影した映像をインターネット上で公開したことが業務を妨害し、名誉を傷つける不法行為と認めた。当然の判断だ。

    判決はさらに、一連の言動が国連の人種差別撤廃条約が禁止する「人種や民族的出身などに基づく区別、排除」に該当すると認めた。このような差別行為であれば条約に基づき、損害も高額になるという判断も示した。

    在特会側の街宣活動は、学校が隣接する公園を、管理者である京都市の許可を得ないまま運動場として使っていることを非難するものだった。しかし判決は、事実を示す内容が含まれていたとしても、在日朝鮮人に対する差別意識を世間に訴える意図があることは明らかで違法とした。演説も公益目的のない侮蔑的発言としか考えられないと述べ、「政治的意見を述べる自由は保護される」という在特会側の主張を退けた。

    表現の自由は基本的人権の中でも重要な権利であり、デモによる意見表明は尊重されるべきだ。しかし、ヘイトスピーチは、攻撃の対象となる在日韓国・朝鮮人らの尊厳を傷つけ、外国人に対する偏見と排外主義的な感情も助長しかねない。

    韓国や中国では、日本でのデモなどの様子がネット上で紹介され、反日感情を刺激している。一部の人たちの言動が日本と韓国や中国との関係悪化を助長することは避けなければならない。

    日本も加盟する人種差別撤廃条約にはヘイトスピーチに対する処罰規定がある。ヨーロッパなどには刑事罰を科す国もあるが、日本はその部分を留保している。新たな法規制をすれば、表現の自由をおびやかし、行き過ぎた言論統制を招く恐れがあるためだ。判決は現行法でもヘイトスピーチに対応できることを示した。

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

    Japan Times version (including the error that the Koreans make up Japan’s largest ethnic minority.  In fact, since 2007, the Chinese do; nigh time for lazy reporters to update their preconceptions):

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

    Zaitokukai told to leave Korean school in Kyoto alone
    Court bans rightists’ hate speech, rallies
    KYODO, AP and The Japan Times OCT 7, 2013
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/07/national/court-bans-rightists-hate-speech-rallies/

    KYOTO – The Kyoto District Court ordered anti-Korean activists Monday to pay damages for disrupting classes at a Korean school by staging demonstrations during which they used hate speech, and banned them from staging further rallies.

    The landmark ruling acknowledged for the first time the explicit insults used in the rallies constituted racial discrimination, human rights experts said, and it could prompt a move to exempt hate speech from free-speech rights under the Constitution.

    Presiding Judge Hitoshi Hashizume said the actions of Zaitokukai members and other activists who shouted hate-speech slogans near the school and posted video footage of the demonstrations online were “illegal.”

    The actions “constitute racial discrimination as defined by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” which Japan has ratified, Hashizume said.

    Zaitokukai and the activists were ordered to pay about ¥12 million and banned from street demonstrations within a 200-meter radius of the pro-Pyongyang Korean school in the city of Kyoto. The operator of the school had sought ¥30 million in damages.

    The operator filed the lawsuit in June 2010 against the group and eight activists for using hate speech on three occasions from December 2009 to March 2010 near Kyoto Chosen Daiichi Elementary School in Minami Ward.

    The activists shouted slogans, such as “throw Korean schools out of Japan” and “children of spies,” through loudspeakers, disrupting classes and causing some students to complain of stomach pains, according to the suit.

    The plaintiff argued that its right to receive “minority education” had been violated in seeking a ban on such demonstrations around the school, which has been consolidated with Kyoto Chosen Elementary School in Fushimi Ward since the incidents.

    Several hundred thousand Koreans comprise Japan’s largest ethnic minority group, many of them descendants of forced laborers shipped to Japan during its brutal 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Many still face discrimination.

    Such rallies have escalated this year and spread to Tokyo and other cities with Korean communities amid growing anti-Korean sentiment. In street rallies held in major Korean communities in the Tokyo area, hundreds of group members and supporters called Koreans “cockroaches,” shouted “Kill Koreans” and threatened to “throw them into the sea.”

    Zaitokukai defended its actions as “freedom of expression” and said they were intended to oppose the school’s installing of a platform for morning assembly without permission at a park that is managed by the city.

    Four of the eight defendants have been convicted of forcible obstruction of business and property destruction in connection with the demonstrations, while the school’s former principal has been fined ¥100,000 for unauthorized occupancy of the park.
    ENDS

    18 Responses to “Kyoto District Court orders anti-Korean Zaitokukai to pay damages in first J court decision recognizing hate speech as an illegal form of racial discrimination”

    1. debito Says:

      NYT’s take on the Kyoto Zaitokukai decision follows. A friend or two of mine in the legal community are decrying this as a dangerous precedent against freedom of speech. I find that a bit alarmist. I’m glad that minorities are finally being protected against being publicly denigrated by the dominant majority in Japan. — AD

      Japanese Court Fines Rightist Group Over Protests at a School in Kyoto
      By MARTIN FACKLER
      Published: October 7, 2013

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/08/world/asia/japanese-court-fines-rightist-group-in-elementary-school-protest.html

      TOKYO — In a widely watched decision, a court in Kyoto on Monday ordered a far-right group to pay $120,000 in damages to an elementary school for ethnic Koreans after the group staged demonstrations using slogans that the court characterized as racist.

      Connect With Us on Twitter
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      The ruling, by the Kyoto District Court, is one of the first court decisions in Japan to address a recent proliferation of street protests using hate speech against ethnic minorities, usually Koreans and Chinese. Most of the protests appear to have been organized by a vocal new group called the Zaitokukai, whose Web site says has almost 14,000 members.

      The Zaitokukai is the most extreme part of a new generation of ultranationalists known as the “Net right” because it uses the Internet to organize. While the group represents a tiny fringe in this otherwise law-abiding nation, its members have recently drawn attention for marches in Tokyo’s ethnic Korean neighborhood of Okubo, during which they shouted anti-Korean slogans. In June, several marchers were arrested after a confrontation with counterprotesters turned into fistfights, a rare occurrence in usually peaceful Tokyo.

      While some Japanese have compared the Zaitokukai to the skinheads or neo-Nazis of the West, sociologists say its members lack the same sort of clear race-based ideology and usually draw the line at violence. Rather, they say, members tend to be young Japanese men who feel disenfranchised by such personal failures as an inability to get a stable corporate job and then take out their resulting frustration by blaming foreigners.

      In the Kyoto case, members of the Zaitokukai held protests outside the Kyoto No. 1 Korean Elementary School between December 2009 and March 2010 and called the students spies and cockroaches, school officials said. As the marchers shouted through bullhorns, parents rushed to block them from entering the school, and teachers led the children in songs to drown out the insults, school officials said.

      According to the suit filed by the school against members of the Zaitokukai, several children have since complained of stomach pains from anxiety and stress. In the suit, the school sought $300,000 in damages.

      Zaitokukai members said the group was protesting the school’s unauthorized use of a neighboring city park for assemblies and other school activities. It also criticized the school for having a pro-North Korean stance, as many ethnic Korean schools in Japan do. This is a legacy of the years after the 1950-53 Korean War, when many ethnic Koreans in Japan felt obliged to take sides, and the socialist North was seen as more politically progressive than the then-authoritarian South.

      In his ruling, the court’s presiding judge, Hitoshi Hashizume, said the group’s actions were illegal because they constituted racial discrimination. In addition to having to pay damages, members of the Zaitokukai were ordered to stay more than 600 feet from the school, which has since merged with a similar school in Kyoto.
      ENDS

    2. john k Says:

      Two sides of the same coin, addressed differently in UK??

      “..Home Office ‘Go home’ adverts banned by industry watchdog..”

      * http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24452551

    3. Benmcc Says:

      I’d really like to get a copy of the court opinion and see the legal reasoning without the press filter. Concerning freedom of speech (Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution)The Japanese Supreme Court has said before that “It is true that freedom of expression should be respected as a particularly important right in democratic society. However, Article 21, paragraph(1) of the Constitution does not guarantee freedom of expression absolutely or unconditionally, but allows a necessary and reasonable restriction for public welfare. Even a means to be used for making one’s opinion public would be unacceptable if it unjustly harms the rights of others.” It seems like the Kyoto District Court followed this line of cases. So in theory, this ruling should be upheld.

    4. Mike Says:

      What’s the reasoning behind the judge saying that posting videos of the protest online is illegal?

      Is this only for cases when the person doing so is attempting to spread racial hatred? Would a passerby who recorded such a protest also get in trouble for posting a video online?

      Other than that, this is a very important ruling. It’s good to see some progress is being made.

    5. AM Says:

      “We’re going to kill you!” is a threat of violence, that should be punished, in my opinion.

      “I hate (insert race/nationality/religion/gender/orientation/age/etc.)” is rude speech, that should not be punished, in my opinion.

      The Japanese girl who yelled, right in front of Japanese police, “I want to kill you Koreans! We Japanese are going to massacre all of you Koreans currently living in this neighborhood (Tsuruhashi) just like we did to the Chinese living in Nanking before! We Japanese can kill people when we get angry! Move to Korea or we are going to kill you all!”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pE2ms1P56I

      That person should be punished because she made a threat of violence. In fact, she should be imprisoned because she literally made the strongest possible threat of violence possible.

      If she had simply quietly said to her friends, “I hate Koreans!” that would be her right, in my opinion.

      As soon as someone starts yelling anything loudly, even “I love bananas!” (either with or without an amplifier) as soon as the sound is above 88 decibels: that is disturbing the peace, and should be punished.

      So, I feel:

      loud speech of any kind above 88 decibels should be punished,
      and threats of violence (either quiet or loud) should be punished,
      yet quietly saying “I hate a group of people” should not be punished.

      I want to see all people yelling above 88 decibels, and all people making threats of violence, punished by the courts.

      That’s just my two cents on this subject.

      – Why a threshold of 88 decibels?

    6. Ast Says:

      Are the judges actually timorous, or are they (mostly) in the whole thing? Which side are the judges on?

      – Read my book JAPANESE ONLY, for one example. Judges usually side with The State or the status quo. But they also are very aware of how the press is seeing their case. That’s one reason, I believe, why the wheels of the Japanese justice system turn so slowly — the media can’t sustain prolonged attention to cases that way.

    7. Mark Kanto Says:

      Interesting how the Japanese version of the Mainichi article gives two examples of what those bigots shouted, but censors the assertion “You guys smell like kimchi!” Even for newspaper editor such a rant is just too offensive, an insult to “we Japanese” readers. Evidently even some of the more enlightened members of society can’t believe that any member of what is after all still conceived as the “in group” would stoop that low. How odd that all of a sudden those hardly known for their subtlety display such a delicacy of sensibility.

    8. helmut schoeck Says:

      I don’t see this ruling as being a good thing. All this serves to do is protect Japan’s image, and preserve their tatemai face for the world. But, it does nothing to reduce the secret iceberg of discrimination in Japan, just hides the tip. It drives it underground, reduces it’s visibility, and increases it’s deniability. And anyone who knows anything about the Japanese people at all, knows that if it is at all deniable, they will deny it. Debito’s success in removing the signs around Japan had the same effect, and served to damage the cause of reducing discrimination by making it less visible. Today, most apartments are not available for rent to foreigners, Japanese still don’t want to sit next to us on the train, and many half-empty restaurants are “sorry, but full”, and this is the kind of discrimination that needs to be attacked, not just the provable, obvious ones that spoil Japan’s image.

    9. Ast Says:

      Oh come on… you’re being overly cynical. All this means that more suits like this could follow in the future. It has potentially opened a floodgate. And what do you mean, “the Japanese people”, you make it sound as if it is an in-born trait, when it’s just continuation of previous thought patterns and behavior.

      Racism in Japan is mostly… politicized and institutionalized.

    10. Chris B Says:

      Helmut,

      I don’t agree, although I do think freedom of speech should be close to absolute, you have to draw the line at threats of violence and certainly you can’t have mobs gathering outside schools. The court ruling does not cover up racism in Japan artificially, it genuinely strikes a blow against it. Things won’t change overnight, it takes steps in the right direction, if this ruling stands it will be a precedent and can be used everywhere. This kind of super extreme hate speech has been shown time and again to brainwash a certain type of mentally degenerate person as it bypassses any kind of logical argument and lets people skip over analysis and just join the lynch mob.
      As for Debito’s success in having discriminatory signs removed, this is also a major step forward as it sends out a message to everyone that although discrimination may still exist, it is not acceptable and if you carry on with it underground, you are doing so underground in an unacceptable manner, this can and does change attitudes, we know that because other countries have already been down this path and they have come out successfully the other end, in part by using exactly these methods.

    11. Loverilakkuma Says:

      @helmut schoeck, #8

      >”Debito’s success in removing the signs around Japan had the same effect, and served to damage the cause of reducing discrimination by making it less visible.”

      That’s a typical argument right-wing bullies and like-minded people like to use to accuse anyone of disclosing the ‘inconvenient truth.’ Don’t fall for that. It’s contagious–and, utterly harmful.

    12. Becky Says:

      And in other news: this man in the UK was arrested for verbally (drunkenly) abusing a Japanese woman on the train. Arrested!

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2471800/Drunk-racist-filmed-abusing-Japanese-passenger-Underground.html

      – And rightly so.

    13. Baudrillard Says:

      @ Becky, I’ll stick my neck way out and say I feel differently about this. Sure,the woman is innocent but until the Japanese government is perceived as offering genuine atonement for relatively recent war crimes then its innocent citizens when abroad will continue to occasionally suffer such abuse; by no means uncommon.

      I like her “I m not nasty, you are” comeback too, which ignores the content of his rant and just focusses on how he is expressing it, i.e. rudely, nastily. Culturally, I would argue this is a common trait in Japan; its not what you say, its how politely you say it. But certain taboo topics are by nature defined as rude in Japan, e.g. Japan’s unpleasant wartime record.

      So arguably, she is in denial as well by sidestepping the whole issue, but then I hardly expect your average Japanese tourist or even Japanese UK resident to trip the verbal light fantastic with pithy comebacks under pressure, though I still live in hope of being surprised from time to time.

      To quote a Japanese living in Britain quoted in an EFL text in Japan (New Insights), “The British like arguments, the Japanese don’t”.

      So perhaps I could take what I have learnt from living in Japan and say “Oh, this guy didn’t mean anything, We British like debate. Its just a “cultural difference! (^-^).

      To quote Bridget Jones’s mother “Japanese? Cruel race” (mysteriously missing from the translation in the version released in Japan).

      This is what your average older conservative Brit thinks of when you mention “Japan” -war crimes, River Kwai, Tenko, Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor. Sure, its ignorant but that’s the way it is, the way fictions and the media branded Japan in people’s minds.

      The Japanese Embassy’s PR campaign to paint over this without genuine atonement just come across as hypocritical and hyper sensitive, humorless and politically immature and unsophisticated as witnessed and discussed at this site with their attempt to “control the narrative” by complaining to the BBC etc. Ditto their failed attempts to rebrand Abe as a democrat, as opposed to his “nationalist” label in the western media.

      Finally, I thought Japan was not a “race” per se. So, I would argue that arresting this man under a “racially aggravated” public order offence plays directly into the “We Unique Japanese” mindset and again compounds the conundrum whereby Japanese abroad reap the benefits of anti discrimination laws in the west while denying racism exists in Japan itself, and thus “doesn’t need legislation”.

      The very headline (“racist drunk.. abusing Japanese” has now branded any kind of expressed anti Japanese feeling as automatically “racist”. So that’s 1-0 to the Japanese rightists trying to control the narrative of how Japan is treated and perceived overseas.

      He merely expressed outrage at historical events. He did not call her a “yellow ….”, for example.

      He should have just been arrested for “drunk and disorderly”-which is probably what would have happened if the situation had been reversed in Japan.

      Lets see if he is charged, and with what.

    14. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Becky #12

      The irony is that the Japanese would expect him to be punished for such disgusting behavior in the UK , but don’t even have a law to protect foreigners from such behavior in Japan. Maybe this guy has experience of living in Japan, and has suffered years of ‘othering’ on the Yamanote sen?

    15. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Baudrillard #14

      We have become apologists! Lolz!
      Let’s see if the Japan apologists brand us as ‘racists’ in this case.

    16. john k Says:

      Baudrillard

      “..Finally, I thought Japan was not a “race” per se..”

      It is defined* here:

      9 Race

      (1)Race includes—

      (a)colour;

      (b)nationality;

      (c)ethnic or national origins.

      (2)In relation to the protected characteristic of race—

      (a)a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular racial group;

      (b)a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same racial group.

      (3)A racial group is a group of persons defined by reference to race; and a reference to a person’s racial group is a reference to a racial group into which the person falls.

      (4)The fact that a racial group comprises two or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a particular racial group.

      (5)A Minister of the Crown may by order—

      (a)amend this section so as to provide for caste to be an aspect of race;

      (b)amend this Act so as to provide for an exception to a provision of this Act to apply, or not to apply, to caste or to apply, or not to apply, to caste in specified circumstances.

      (6)The power under section 207(4)(b), in its application to subsection (5), includes power to amend this Act.

      * http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/9

    17. Becky Says:

      Just thought you might appreciate an update on my earlier post, about the train passenger in UK who was arrested in October for verbally abusing a Japanese woman. He has been sentenced to three months imprisonment.

      Three months! Jail!

      http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/localnews/10861116.Carpenders_Park_racist_Tube_rant_man_jailed_for_12_weeks/?ref=rss

      What he did was inexcusable, but honestly? I’m not sure I’d like to see Japan become a country where people get thrown into jail for being drunk and disorderly (and if it were, then half of my friends would have served time by now). Surely a stiff fine and letter of apology would’ve sufficed, at least in this particular case.

      Almost every NJ male (including probably a few readers of this blog) that I talk to tells me of being verbally threatened and harassed by drunk oyajis and salarymen: in restaurants, bars, trains, and very occasionally on the street. I am always horrified to hear their stories, and very sympathetic, but I don’t think any man deserves prison time for being drunk, stressed out, and full of impotent rage.
      If it’s systematic, then yes, but if he’s just being a dick?

      Thoughts?

    18. john k Says:

      Becky

      I suspect that because he threaten with his bottle of wine (as it says in the new report), before drinking its contents that helped sway their argument for a custodial sentence. Since it is ostensibly a “weapon”…image if it were a knife…to the victim, it is the same thing!

      What is more shocking, not the sentence, but shock horror, the police believed her, tracked down the man and then took him to court. Regardless whether he was convicted or not, and/or the resulting sentence. Oh yeah…forgot, the UK has laws that are upheld for all, not just one “race”. Can you image any non-J being given such supportive rights and/or treatment in Japan?

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