Asahi & Mainichi: “No Hate” “No Racism”, “Refugees Welcome” say protesters at Tokyo anti-discrimination rally. Bravo.


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Hello Blog. As has been pointed out by a number of Readers, this development is a positive one, both in that it happened (as an annual rally, no less), and that it was reported in the news. Read on. Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

First watch this:

東京大行進:ヘイトスピーチに抗議、「差別反対」アピール  (Mainichi Shinbun)


Refugees welcome’ say protesters at Tokyo anti-discrimination rally
Asahi Shinbun, November 23, 2015 By MIAKO ICHIKAWA/ Staff Writer

“Refugees welcome” was a rallying cry among 2,500 or so Tokyo Democracy March demonstrators who paraded through the capital’s Shinjuku district on Nov. 22 following the recent Paris terror attacks.

The crowd, protesting all forms of discrimination, urged Japan to welcome those fleeing danger with some waving a banner displaying the asylum seeker-friendly slogan.

“Behind the vigorous rhetoric which says ‘We do not yield to terrorism,’ refugees could lose a place to live,” said one 42-year-old worker from Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward who joined the event.

Causes on the agenda included the prejudice experienced by ethnic Korean residents in Japan, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and people with disabilities.

The third annual demonstration also focused on asylum seekers amid concerns over anti-refugee sentiment in and outside Japan after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured.

The fears stem from the idea that terrorists could masquerade as refugees to enter the country.

The event was first organized in 2013 chiefly as a protest against groups which staged a number of hate speeches targeting the numerous ethnic Korean residents in Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district.

The demonstration has so far drawn on various themes, including the display of a discriminatory banner declaring “Japanese Only” at Saitama Stadium during a J.League football match on March 8, 2014.

“We participate in this event because of our desire to improve our society,” said a 30-year-old organizer of the protest.


Japanese version:
「差別いらない」反ヘイトデモ、新宿で 「難民歓迎」も
朝日新聞 2015年11月22日22時27分



3回目の今年は、難民が柱の一つになった。「REFUGEES WELCOME(難民歓迎)」などの横断幕を掲げたりした。デモの運営メンバー(30)は「根っこにあるのは、民主主義を肯定し、社会を良くしようという当たり前の気持ち」という。

「難民歓迎 『テロに屈しない』はこれだ」と書いた手作りのプラカードを掲げて歩いた東京都世田谷区の会社員(42)は「『テロに屈しない』という威勢のいい言葉の裏で、難民は行き場をなくす。社会に広がる空気に対し、自分の気持ちを示した」と話した。



Photo Journal: Marching against hate
November 23, 2015 (Mainichi Japan), courtesy of JK and Jair

Members of the 2015 Tokyo Democracy March hold signs and shout slogans condemning discrimination during a march in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Nov. 22, 2015. Organizers announced that some 2,500 people participated. The annual march began in 2013, mainly composed of people opposed to repeated hate speech demonstrations. This year’s democracy marchers voiced opposition to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability, and called for quick passage of an anti-racial discrimination bill under debate in the Diet. (Mainichi)

Japanese version:

毎日新聞 2015年11月22日 19時45分(最終更新 11月22日 20時36分)






See also (courtesy of Jair):


8 comments on “Asahi & Mainichi: “No Hate” “No Racism”, “Refugees Welcome” say protesters at Tokyo anti-discrimination rally. Bravo.

  • That’s excellent news, and I fully support what these people are trying to do, and it goes some way to restoring my faith in Japanese society; there are people who can discuss issues without hysteria, and try to find a way of doing things not dominated by the baggage of invented ‘culture and tradition, race and nation’. Good luck to them.

  • DylanGemelli says:

    I don’t like the fact that they are packaging these things together. It is almost as if they are packaging them not to sell. There are a number of legitimate reasons not to accept boatloads of refugees from who knows where. There is no legit reason to hate or discriminate on the basis of race alone. So, it is almost as if they have put something distasteful in there to make it a poor sell. This way they can parade around as if they are with the rest of the civilized world, but in reality, they like things the way they are.

  • Very very good point Dylan. I felt something was wrong when I read that. Hopefully it’s just naivety rather than a desire to subvert the message, but I’m not sure…

  • Great seeing this. Nice to see some good news on this site from time to time. It can be exhausting when there is so much opposition to progress and so many problems still to face. Those little victories and lights at the ends of tunnels is a refreshing breeze

  • I want to know what Dr Arudou’s view of Dylan’s point above is. Are they packaging it to fail?
    It’s a bit like calling for same sex marriage in India and Kenya. Lots of natives, when asked about decriminalising gay sex, will bash same sex marriage as an abomination. But the real issue is just decriminalisation. They use same sex marriage as a straw man with which to discredit all gay activism. And sometimes activists themselves, possibly through naïveté, bring up same sex marriage. What’s going on in these protests is analogous…

    — I have insufficient evidence to conclude that they are packaging it to fail. Taking up multi-pronged issues like these is a common strategy in interest groups. Moreover, saying that these people are deliberately trying to sabotage their own efforts seems to me quite a stretch.


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