by Hifumi Okunuki, Shingetsu News Agency
…I was in a café with a friend who has little interest in politics. She turned to me and said, “South Korea really pisses me off.” Another friend of mine returned home to her octogenarian parents. During dinner her father started going off on Korea and Koreans. This shocked my friend because he had never before expressed any sort of contempt for Korea. But when you bathe each day in the hateful waters of corporate TV and its anti-Korean coverage, it makes sense that this hate enters your pores and seeps deep into your heart.
Kawasaki city in Kanagawa Prefecture announced in June its intention to pass an ordinance that would be the first ever to levy a financial penalty on those guilty of making hate speech. Mayor Norihiko Fukuda reassured the public that the new rule will “pay due heed to freedom of expression.” (I still wonder what “due heed” means). A national hate speech law was passed in 2016, but with no penalty for infractions. Kawasaki city asked for public comment on the proposed law.
Many on the left celebrated the possibility of a law with teeth, and many of my friends in the union movement have emailed me, asking me to write a public comment in support….