U.N. panel urges Japan to regulate hate speech by law


The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination urged the Japanese government on Friday to regulate hate speech by law, following a rise in racist demonstrations mainly targeting Korean residents in the country.

A similar recommendation was given to Japan by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in July.

The antidiscrimination panel also pressed Japan to make further efforts to address the issue of the “comfort women,” Japan’s euphemism for those who were sexually exploited by the Imperial Japanese military before and during World War II. Most of them were Korean.

In its recommendations to Japan, the committee noted that hate speech and other behavior inciting racist violence and hatred during rallies and in the media, including the Internet, are “not always properly investigated and prosecuted” by Japanese authorities.

It demanded that Japan firmly address hate speech during demonstrations, investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations responsible for such acts, and punish public officials and politicians who disseminate hate speech.

Japan should also “address the root causes” of racist hate speech and “strengthen measures of teaching, education, culture and information,” with a view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and among racial or ethnic groups, it said.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which took effect in 1969, recognizes discriminatory expressions as a crime. Signatory countries are obliged to reject all forms of propaganda aimed at justifying or promoting racial hatred and discrimination and take legal actions against them.

However, the Japanese government has yet to take such measures, as freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The U.N. committee urged Japan to change this position and take “appropriate steps to revise its legislation,” in particular its penal code, to regulate hate speech.

On the comfort women issue, the panel cited reports that most of these women “have never received recognition, apologies or any kind of compensation” from the Japanese government.

The panel prodded Japan to carry through with investigations on human rights violations against the comfort women and bring those responsible to justice, offer sincere apologies and adequate reparation to all surviving victims or their families, and condemn any attempt to deny the existence of the comfort women issue.

The committee issued the recommendations after holding a session from Aug 20 to 21 in which 18 experts reviewed Japan’s compliance with the international convention against racial discrimination. The session on Japan was the first in about four years.

  • Steve Jackman

    This ought to prod Japan to stop denying and whitewashing the serious problem of racism and racial discrimination which exists in Japan. These issues cannot be swept under the rug any longer. Time to take action, Japan!

    • phu

      I don’t see this as a step towards ending racism in Japan; if they do anything about it, it will have two effects:

      1. Limiting people’s freedom of expression, which is a direction much of the world is already headed in, and that’s momentum we really don’t want to keep building.

      2. Sweeping the ongoing problem of discrimination further under that proverbial rug.

      In a very real sense, stopping people from saying discriminatory things will encourage everyone to ignore the remaining problem even more. Discrimination? No, we took care of that; we stopped hate speech.

      It’s the racist and otherwise discriminatory actions, not words, that have the most profound effect on non-native-Japanese. A landlord doesn’t have to call you names to refuse to rent to you; a police officer doesn’t have to threaten you to randomly card you; an employer doesn’t have to insult you to refuse to renew your contract in favor of hiring an ethnic Japanese.

      Personally, I’m a big fan of the right of stupid people to say stupid things. It makes it a lot easier to find and avoid the bigots. :)

      • Firas Kraïem

        “It’s the racist and otherwise discriminatory actions, not words, that have the most profound effect on non-native-Japanese.”

        Bet you wouldn’t say that if you had people shouting on megaphones under your windows that you ought to be killed.

      • phu

        So your baseless ad hominem is supposed to what, discredit my argument by making assumptions about what I would and wouldn’t tolerate in the name of free speech?

        If you’d care to try actually reading what you quoted, though, you’d see I never said those idiots weren’t causing problems. And if it’s to the point where they’re actually disrupting people’s lives, that’s different. As I said, it’s what they’re saying that shouldn’t be banned. Their actions are the problem.

      • Steve Jackman

        Phu, I don’t think you have read the entire U.N. report on Japan. If you read the full report, like I have done, you will realize that your concerns are unfounded and have no basis.

        Please read my other comment which I posted here earlier, so you can understand what I’m referring to. In that somewhat lengthy comment, I have explained the broader scope of the U.N. report than what the Japanese media has reported (I have copy-and-pasted several sections from the actual U.N. report in my earlier comment).

    • Kyle Bull

      Is racism a serious problem in japan? When I look at japan I see a wildly successful nation with a strong economy, high social capitol, low poverty, and a high rate of innovation. Strong sense of community and racial pride has a lot to do with that.

  • wada

    Are those who think that the opinion of the fox which borrows a tiger’s authority is right needed? Seemingly the person who prepared the data of the committee also participated in comfort women’s forgery of asahi newspaper.

    Value is not in the opinion of the organization which revealed its true nature. The report of the U.N. committee is not something beyond it in a committee individual’s opinion. Of course, is that there is neither authority nor legal force in advice of a committee understood?

    By the way, Does South Korea understand the historical fact which South Korea abandoned the individual claim of both Japan and South Korea, and carried out normalization of diplomatic relations to Japan? South Korea blocked assistance only for the reason for not being pleasing that Japan has offered various assistance to comfort women in accordance with this fact.

    Compensation to comfort women is a South Korean domestic issue, and there is already no reason Japan performs apology and compensation.

    *1: Details of Exchanges Between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Regarding the Comfort Women Issue
    *2: 慰安婦問題を巡る日韓間のやりとりの経緯~河野談話作成からアジア女性基金まで~(日本語)

  • Steve Jackman

    I have read this entire report by The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and have also seen video of comments made by committee members after this report was released on August 29, 2014. In this video, committee member Anwar Kemal perhaps best summed up the conclusion of the report in his comment telling Japan that, “You need a comprehensive law on racial discrimination. That is the most important thing”.

    It is worth noting that the U.N. report itself is much broader in scope in its condemnation of Japan’s record of racism and racial discrimination against minorities and non-citizens in Japan. The report strongly criticizes Japan for the racism and racial discrimination faced by non-citizens in general in the areas of employment, housing, exclusion from use of public facilities and businesses such as restaurants and shops, as well as, the absence of laws against racial discrimination in Japan.

    It is therefore curious that the Japanese press, including this article from Jiji published in The Japan Times, has focused narrowly on the problem of hate speech in Japan (especially towards Koreans), even though, this is just one section in the report. Reading Japanese news coverage, one gets the wrong impression that the bulk of the report is about hate speech, whereas, in fact it addresses racism and racial discrimination against minorities and non-citizens in Japan in a much broader sense. I have copied a few noteworthy sections from the report below:


    “Definition of Racial Discrimination

    The Committee is concerned that the definition of racial discrimination in paragraph 1 of article 14 of the Constitution of Japan, which prescribes the principles of equality and non-discrimination does not include the grounds of national or ethnic origin, colour or descent, and therefore does not fully meet the requirements of article 1 of the Convention. Similarly, there is no adequate definition of racial discrimination in domestic legislation (arts 1 and 2).

    The Committee recommends that the State party adopt in its legislation a comprehensive definition of racial discrimination which integrates the grounds of national or ethnic origin, colour and descent, in full compliance with article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention.”


    “Absence of a specific and comprehensive law prohibiting racial discrimination

    While noting that some laws include provisions against racial discrimination, the Committee is concerned that acts and incidents of racial discrimination continue to occur in the State party and that the State party has not yet enacted a specific and comprehensive law on the prohibition of racial discrimination which will enable victims to seek appropriate legal redress for racial discrimination (art. 2).

    The Committee urges the State party to adopt specific and comprehensive legislation prohibiting racial discrimination, both direct and indirect, in compliance with articles 1 and 2 of the Convention, which will enable victims of racial discrimination to seek appropriate legal redress.”


    “National Human Rights Institution

    The Committee is concerned that the State party has not yet established a national human rights institution in full compliance with the Paris principles. In this context, the Committee notes that the examination of the Human Rights Commission Bill was scrapped in 2012 following the dissolution of the House of Representatives and that the progress made to establish a national human rights institution has been very slow. (art. 2).

    Bearing in mind its general recommendation No. 17 (1994) on the establishment of national institutions to facilitate implementation of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party promptly resume the consideration of the Human Rights Commission Bill and expedite its adoption with a view to establishing an independent national human rights institution, providing it with adequate human and financial resources as well as with a mandate to address complaints of racial discrimination, in full compliance with the Paris principles (General Assembly resolution 48/134).”


    “The Committee recommends that the State party reinforce its legislation in order to firmly combat racial discrimination against migrants in employment and access to housing and improve migrants employment status, bearing in mind the Committee’s general recommendation No. 30 (2004) on discrimination against non-citizens.”


    “Access by non-citizens to public places and facilities

    The Committee is concerned about the continued exclusion of non-citizens on the basis of race or nationality from accessing some public places and facilities of general use, such as restaurants, hotels, family public bathhouses and stores, in violation of articles 2 and 5 of the Convention (art. 2, 5).

    The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate measures to protect non-citizens from discrimination in access to public places, in particular by ensuring effective application of its legislation. The Committee also recommends that the State party investigate and sanction such acts of discrimination and enhance public awareness-raising campaigns on the requirements of the relevant legislation.”


    “the Committee is concerned about reports on the increase of xenophobic and discriminatory attitudes against non-citizens and indigenous peoples, including through mass media. (art. 2, 7).”

    “Preparation of the next report

    The Committee recommends that the State party submit its tenth to eleventh periodic reports in a single document by 14 January 2017, taking into account the treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted by the Committee at its seventy-first session (CERD/C/2007/1) and addressing all the points raised in these concluding observations.”


    • Mike D.

      You are an insane Liberal. The Japanese, like all humans, defend their ethnic interests and have a MORAL RIGHT to do this. The UN is a supranational government run by a bunch of unelected elites who have found a mechanism for ruling over humanity and that is to propagate an ideology – not a science, but a theory of humanity – wrapped in intensely moral terms and then put non-stop pressure, economically and otherwise until the country’s leaders buckle. It is a marriage between the elite Masters of the Universe Plutocrat types and the egalitarian nutjobs who push this as a moral ideal without considering the long-term consequences, and believe me the next thing is to pressure Japan to open it’s borders to the rest of the world.

      If I am a visitor to Japan in 100 years, I want ethnic Japanese walking around. I do not want a mixer of Africans, Arabs, Berbers, Hispanics, Indians, Sri Lankans, Iranians, Turkish, French, Samoans. That is totally unacceptable and quite frankly, evil to force ‘sameness’ on the entire world. This is truly a Dark Ages.

  • Slicer

    Count your lucky stars, Japan, that Koreans are your main immigrant problem. Most of the countries in the UN who are screaming at you over this are either:
    -run entirely by people you don’t want in your country, or
    -absolutely infested to the gills with those people.

    Your society, your way of life, what it means to be Japanese, *cannot survive* if you accede to the demands of the U.N. Unless you want your entire nation to be overrun, support your nationalists and get rid of as many foreigners as you can, regardless of your national population problems.

    Sincerely, an American who knows where things will end up if you don’t.

  • Aladie

    Many Japanese people who think that Japan is the best country in the world or something do not understand what discrimination means. It seemed to have always been there, and it’s FINALLY been pushed for change by law. I am a citizen, but I have always experienced discrimination in Japan. It gets very, very violent. Child abuse, economical abuse, housing abuse based on discrimination. I was in USA for a long time, and I get easily violently disciminated just by that. I see my country differently after I have aged and been to other countries and met many other people outside. Law is more gentle than being stopped by the previous way. Can they listen? I don’t know. Too much discrimination inside this country, but people dont say about it, but they tend to go after people they think outside. How many warnings will it take to have them learn about what they are doing on this planet where they are not alone.

    • Mike D.

      I’m sorry but people like you are the problem, not the “racists”. “Racism” is nothing more than the natural expression of ingroup/outgroup feelings along racial lines (see Tajfel, PhD). Human brains, like animals, sees ‘other’, which gives it an adaptive mechanism to survive and propagate it’s DNA. Racial outsiders are a threat to DNA propagation which is the fundamental mandate of living things. Therefore, condemning “racism” is a recipe for widescale global violence as the state needs to step in and FORCE different people together.

      If you are a racial outsider to Japan, you need to leave Japan. It’s that simple. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen; don’t curse the kitchen. You cannot pathologize something natural, though Liberals since Rousseau have been doing this for hundreds of years. It’s insanity. There is no post-racial America or Europe either. The reason multiculturalism seems to be ‘working’ is that the white majority has simply turned off its adaptive mechanisms that shield against racial threats. Whites are somewhat unique because they form ingroups based on reputation and not so much on ethnic affiliation (see Kevin B, MacDonald, PhD). What this means is that whites (and Japanese), if they don’t assert their right to free association will simply be exterminated through immigration and race mixing.

  • Guest

    I wish I weren’t Japanese.

    • wpjokari

      don’t ever succumb to the pressure of the enemy, trying to put you down, make you hate yourself. These UN cowards want to destroy and kill your society through dilution as they have ours, and many others.. stand up and be proud, Japan is a model of high intelligence and extreme accomplishment in this world.

    • Jesse 48

      Don’t let people control you by putting you on a guilt trip. As an old man I have discoverd as you can discover the enemy will try to control you by putting you on a guilt trip.

  • Aladie

    If I looked thier version of “American,” I would not get discriminated. I am Japanese and was in America. Many Japanese say that they are embarassed to do this and that. But, their this and that are better to be seen openly. It is actually bizzare to hear what they say everyday. How easy it was for them to back off when I talked to lawyers.. Many say that using the law makes things big deal, but i think that it really helps to protect one’s life here… What is up with out suicide rate? It that the best production we don now? or in the history always.

  • Mike D.

    Wow, this is seriously scary. The NWO is telling Japan it has no right to be Japanese.

  • Jesse 48

    I never thought I would live to see the day Japan bowed down to political correctness. Now lets start to genocide the Japanese people by displacing the Japanese people with people from the third world like what is happening in white nations.

  • WhiteRabbit

    Look at all this anti-whitism. In the 60’s, anti-whites forced ALL and ONLY white countries to bring in millions of non-whites.
    Then anti-whites forced ALL and ONLY white people to “integrate” or face penalties for being “naziswhowantokill6millionjews.”
    Now anti-whites are praising and counting down the days till ALL and ONLY white children are minorities and extinct EVERYWHERE.
    That makes it white genocide.
    “Anti-racist” is a codeword for anti-white.

  • timefox

    Obstinate comfort-women advice of the United Nations is violation of the U.N. Charter. The United Nations has forbidden the interference to a member nation except the sanction of the Security Council. The obstinate comfort-women criticism to Japan is two articles of U.N. Charter violation. The advice which the U.N. Charter defines is not criticism but a mere proposal. Since member nation criticism cannot be performed other than the Security Council, comfort-women criticism is violation of a charter.