The managers of a kindergarten in the city of Osaka that handed parents copies of a statement slurring Korean residents of Japan and Chinese people have been questioned on suspicion of spreading hate speech, prefectural officials said Thursday.

The statement, distributed by Tsukamoto Kindergarten in Yodogawa Ward, described Korean residents and Chinese people as those with "wicked ideas," calling the latter shinajin, a derogatory term for Chinese.

A prefectural official questioned the Principal Yasunori Kagoike and his wife, the deputy principal, on Jan. 12 after local officials were tipped off by one of the parents in December. Kagoike is also the head of Moritomo Gakuen, which runs the kindergarten.