National

Embattled Osaka kindergarten chief apologizes for denigrating Koreans, Chinese

Kyodo, Staff Reports

A kindergarten in the city of Osaka has apologized for using expressions about “foreigners that could lead to misunderstanding,” after coming under fire for slurring Korean and Chinese parents on its website.

The apology, posted on Tsukamoto Kindergarten’s website, came after it referred to Korean and Chinese guardians as “former delinquent parents.” It then started referring to the nations as “country K and country C.”

“We apologize for using expressions against foreigners that could cause misunderstandings,” the statement said as of Monday. It wasn’t clear when it was posted.

The statement also said the school in Yodogawa Ward will continue to fight against “spiteful criticism.”

The facility run by Moritomo Gakuen also sparked criticism for distributing a statement in December describing Koreans and Chinese as having “wicked ideas,” and using the derogatory term shinajin to refer to Chinese.

Principal Yasunori Kagoike and his wife, the deputy principal, were questioned by a prefectural official on Jan. 12 on suspicion of spreading hate speech.

Kagoike is reportedly a board member of the Osaka chapter of the Japan Conference, a right-wing lobbying group better known as Nippon Kaigi.

Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui urged the kindergarten to refrain from using such derogatory language at a regular news conference on Friday.

“Even though we have the right of free speech, we should not use vulgar expressions,” Matsui said.

The kindergarten is known for making its students memorize the Imperial Rescript on Education, an 1890 edict that was used to promote militaristic education during World War II.