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Japanese City to Punish Hate Speech

Japanese City to Punish Hate Speech

Saturday, 14 December, 2019 - 06:30
A protester takes part in an anti-racism march in London. Reuters file photo
Tokyo - Asharq Al-Awsat
Kawasaki has become the first Japanese city to punish hate speech, and discrimination against foreigners and ethnic minorities.

The new ordinance enacted at the Kawasaki Municipal Assembly, which will enter into force on July 1, bans discriminatory language and actions against foreign people in public spaces in the city. It makes repeat violations punishable by a fine of up to ¥500,000 ($4,600).

The Japanese parliament enacted a law designed to deter hate speech in 2016, but the leaders of Kawasaki -home to one of the largest Korean communities- said the law has been ineffective as it lacks provisions to ban or punish offenses.

As of July, any first-time violator arrested in Kawasaki would be warned, and asked to stop his actions. Then, the city would disclose the names and addresses of the repeat violators, and file criminal complaints against them.

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