Osaka District Court has upheld a petition from an Osaka Prefecture resident in his 70s seeking the deletion of online comments disparaging the area where he lives, which has historically suffered discrimination.

Presiding Judge Naoya Inoue, in a decision dated May 1, ordered the operator of the website to delete the portrayal of the so-called dowa district — an area designated under the government's dowa (assimilation) project in 1969 to help integrate marginalized communities into mainstream society — and barred its release in any other ways.

The depiction promotes discrimination against residents of the area and infringes on the rights of the petitioner, who lives a peaceful life, Inoue said.

The petitioner claimed that his personality rights were infringed on by the publication of the comments and photographs of the area on the website.

At a news conference in Osaka, the petitioner said he was glad about the court decision.

The operator of the website posted the depiction of the area, along with photos, on the website in November 2021.

In 2016, a publishing company headed by the website operator released on a website a list of the names of areas across Japan that have historically been the target of discrimination.

The list was deleted after Tokyo High Court ruled in June last year that the personal rights of people from those areas were infringed on by the publication of the list.