WASHINGTON (Kyodo) – On March 13, the U.S. State Department released its 2018 Human Rights Report, which looks at [human rights conditions] in over 200 countries and territories throughout the world. The report points out that hate speech is on the rise in Japan. It also expresses concern about discrimination against foreign residents and Japanese citizens with non-Japanese parentage in access to employment, housing, and education.
The report describes efforts made to combat hate speech in light of the fact that Japan’s hate speech legislation carries no penalties. Prosecutors use a law on libel to combat hate speech. On the local-government level, Tokyo, Kawasaki City, Kyoto Prefecture, and Osaka City have passed their own ordinances or guidelines to address the problem.
The report also points out “entrenched societal discrimination” against foreign nationals as well as “foreign looking” citizens, saying they are prohibited entry, sometimes by signs reading “Japanese Only,” to restaurants and bars.