U.S. human rights report cites anti-Korean hate speech in Japan

Kyodo

The U.S. State Department took up hate speech against Korean residents in Japan in its annual human rights report released Thursday, apparently reflecting Washington’s concern about the campaign against the ethnic minority in the country.

Members of ultra right-wing groups “used racially pejorative” terms in demonstrations in predominantly ethnic Korean neighborhoods in Tokyo and were accused of hate speech by the press and politicians, the report said.

The report mentioned Zaitokukai (citizens against special privileges for Zainichi) as one of such groups. Zainichi are people of Korean ancestry who have permanent resident status in Japan.

The report, titled “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013,” said senior Japanese government officials publicly repudiated the harassment of ethnic groups and reaffirmed the protection of individual rights for everyone in the country.

The growing number of hate speech rallies against permanent Korean residents drew public attention and criticism last year in Japan against a backdrop of strained bilateral ties with South Korea. “Hate speech” was among Japan’s top buzzwords in 2013.

The report said Chinese, Korean, Brazilian and Filipino permanent residents were also subject to various forms of discrimination outside legal safeguards, “including restricted access to housing, education, health care and employment opportunities.”

On North Korea, the report quoted a South Korean think tank report saying that about 80,000 to 120,000 people have been detained in five active political prison camps.

Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference, releasing the report, that in North Korea “a U.N. Commission of Inquiry recently found clear and compelling evidence of wholesale torture and crimes against humanity.”

The report criticized China for stepping up its crackdown on people protesting at limited access to the Internet and political corruption.

It mentioned “a lack of due process in judicial proceedings” and “political control of courts and judges” as human rights problems in China among others.

  • Steve Jackman

    “The report said Chinese, Korean, Brazilian and Filipino permanent residents were also subject to various forms of discrimination outside legal safeguards, “including restricted access to housing, education, health care, and employment opportunities.”"

    It seems rather strange that the U.S. State Department report on human rights makes it appear as if discrimination in housing and employment opportunities in Japan is limited to permanent residents who hail from the above named four non-Western countries only.

    The fact is that such discrimination also affects the increasing numbers of American citizens who are also permanent residents of Japan. Furthermore, discrimination in employment extends to the failure of the Japanese judicial system to uphold the legal safeguards and protections of Japan’s labor laws in cases that involve American permanent residents of Japan.

    As an American citizen and a permanent resident of Japan, I hope that the U.S. State Department’s next annual report on human rights in Japan does not gloss over the discrimination and abuse of human and civil rights faced by its own American citizens who are also permanent residents of Japan.

    • Steve Jackman

      I have just finished reading the entire report on Japan from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, titled, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013″.

      The full report actually does address discrimination faced by other foreign nationals who are residents of Japan. In Section 6 of the report it states, “Despite legal safeguards against discrimination, the country’s populations of Chinese, Korean, Brazilian, and Filipino permanent residents – many of whom were born, raised, and educated in Japan – were subjected to various forms of entrenched societal discrimination, including restricted access to housing, education, health care, and employment opportunities. Other foreign nationals resident in Japan as well as “foreign-looking” Japanese citizens reported similar discrimination”

      The same section of the report also staes, “discrimination against women; ethnic minority group members; persons with disabilities; LGBT persons; and foreigners remained problems.”

      I hope next year the State Department’s 2014 report also addresses the issue of the lack of due process afforded to foreign residents by Japan’s judicial system in civil cases, such as cases involving labor law, since this problem goes to the heart of the violation of the civil and human rights of foreign residents of Japan.

      The entire report can be found via this link:
      http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper

  • tomiedog

    Japan is not so large as United States. that’s why Japan keeps importance on “WA”(human relation). But the Japanese knew by the Internet, that Korean people has lied as victims and they effectively used the “unfair” affirmative actions and gained the preferential treatment. in a town in Mie Prefecture, Korean people gained no-taxation preference. do US government say Japanese have no right of the speech?

    • risq

      And this is why you are a racist. Because some Korean people did something (in a different country), that means all Korean people are liars?! And of course you try to attack the ‘Koreans’ (who are Japanese citizens) closest to you too.

      Stop this feudal era thinking and join us in the modern age. A country does not equal people. A person does not represent a people.