Anti-Korean graffiti found in Japanese city following cancellation of alleged hate speech event

Kyodo

The Kawasaki Municipal Government plans to file a vandalism complaint with the police after finding more than three dozen instances of anti-Korean graffiti defacing park benches, bridges and other structures.

Local authorities spotted the offending graffiti at 26 locations from Wednesday to Friday, days after hundreds of protesters blocked an event allegedly targeted at ethnic Korean residents of Japan, preventing it from taking place.

The Kawasaki Municipal Government has covered the offensive scrawl with blue plastic sheets, officials said Friday.

A city cleaner first found the graffiti, which was written with an oil-based marker, on a bench in a square in Takatsu Ward. Other examples of anti-Korean graffiti were found in a check of other locations around the city.

On June 3, hundreds of protesters gathered to force the cancellation of an event in Kawasaki that was apparently directed at ethnic Korean residents of Japan. The event was schedule to take place exactly two years after Japan’s anti-hate speech law came into force.

Kawasaki has a large community of ethnic Koreans who have been a primary target of discriminatory propaganda. Japan has about 500,000 Korean residents, many with permanent residency status but no right to vote. Most are descendants of Koreans who came here, many as forced laborers, during Japan’s brutal 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.