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SOCIETY > Human Rights

Kawasaki passes ordinance bill imposing penalties for hate speech

  • December 12, 2019
  • , Kyodo News
  • JMH Summary

Kyodo News reported that the Kawasaki city assembly on Thursday passed an ordinance bill imposing criminal penalties for hate speech, a first for Japan. According to Kyodo, the new ordinance, which will enter into force on July 1, bans discriminatory language and actions against those from countries or regions other than Japan in public spaces in Kawasaki. It makes repeat violations punishable by a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,600). While Japan enacted in 2016 a law designed to deter hate speech, the city deemed the law has not been effective in eradicating discrimination against ethnic minorities as it lacks provisions to ban or punish the use of discriminatory language. The discriminatory actions specified include calling for the expulsion of minorities from where they live, encouraging physical attacks against them, and likening them to something other than human.

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