この件について日本の新聞もテレビもほとんど沈黙を守っています。日本のジャーナリズムが死につつあることだと僕は理解します。この程度のことで腰が引けるようなジャーナリズムはこれ以上の強権的な抑圧がなされたら一斉に大政翼賛に転じる他ないでしょう。何が「社会の木鐸」だろう。― 内田樹 (@levinassien) 2014, 9月 26
― 椛澤洋平/Youhei Kabasawa (@ykabasawa) 2014, 9月 26
エコノミスト紙、在特会やネオナチと閣僚らの関係に触れ「ヘイトの一部は政府トップにインスピレーションを得ている模様」"Some of the hate, it seems, may be inspired from the top."― 中野晃一 Koichi Nakano (@knakano1970) 2014, 9月 26
N OSAKA’s strongly Korean Tsuruhashi district, a 14-year-old Japanese
girl went out into the streets last year calling through a loudspeaker
for a massacre of Koreans. In Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo neighbourhood, home to
one of the largest concentrations of Koreans in Japan, many people say
the level of anti-foreigner vitriol―on the streets and on the
internet―is without modern precedent. Racists chant slogans such as “Get
out of our country”, and “Kill, kill, kill Koreans”.
Perhaps for the first time, this is becoming a problem for Japan’s
politicians and spin doctors (to say nothing of the poor Koreans). The
clock is counting down to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and lawmakers are
coming under pressure to rein in the verbal abuse and outright hate
speech directed at non-Japanese people, chiefly Koreans.
Japan has about 500,000 non-naturalised Koreans, some of whom have
come in the past couple of decades but many of whose families were part
of a diaspora that arrived during Japan’s imperial era in the first half
of the 20th century. They have long been targets of hostility. After
the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, Tokyo residents launched a pogrom
against ethnic Koreans, claiming that they had poisoned the water
So far the abuse has stopped short of violence. There have also been
counter-demonstrations by Japanese citizens in defence of those
attacked. But the police have been passive in the face of verbal
assaults. And there is clearly a danger that one day the attacks will
So the government is under pressure to act. In July, the UN’s
human-rights committee demanded that Japan add hate speech to
legislation banning racial discrimination. Tokyo’s governor, Yoichi
Masuzoe, has pressed the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to pass a law well
before the games.
The courts, too, are beginning to move. In July Osaka’s high court
upheld an earlier ruling over racial discrimination that ordered
Zaitokukai, an ultra-right group that leads hate-speech rallies across
the country, to pay \12m ($111,000) for its tirades against a pro-North
Korean elementary school in Kyoto. At least one right-wing group,
Issuikai, which is anti-American and nostalgic for the imperial past,
abhors the anti-Korean racism. Its founder, Kunio Suzuki, says he has
never seen such anti-foreign sentiment.
The backdrop to a sharp rise in hate-filled rallies is Japan’s
strained relations with South Korea (over the wartime issue of Korean
women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese army) and North
Korea (which abducted Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s). But,
says Mr Suzuki of Issuikai, the return of Mr Abe to office in 2012 also
has something to do with it. The nationalist prime minister and his
allies have been mealy-mouthed in condemning hate speech.
Even if Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) bows to the need to
improve Japan’s image overseas, the message is likely to remain mixed.
Earlier in September a photograph emerged of Eriko Yamatani, the new
minister for national public safety and the overseer of Japan’s police,
posing in 2009 for a photograph with members of Zaitokukai. The
government says she did not know that the people she met were connected
to the noxious group. Yet Ms Yamatani has form when it comes to
disputing the historical basis of the practice of wartime sex slavery.
Many reasonable people worry that a new hate-speech law, improperly
drafted, could harm freedom of expression. But one revisionist
politician, Sanae Takaichi, said, shortly before she joined the cabinet
in September, that if there were to be a hate-speech law, it should be
used to stop those annoying people (invariably well-behaved and often
elderly) demonstrating against the government outside the Diet:
lawmakers, she added, needed to work “without any fear of criticism”. Ms
Takaichi’s office has since been obliged to explain why, with Tomomi
Inada, another of Mr Abe’s close allies, she appeared in photographs
alongside a leading neo-Nazi. Some of the hate, it seems, may be
inspired from the top.