In recent years, “hate speech” – discriminatory expression and behavior aimed at specific ethnic groups or nationalities – has become a matter of grave concern. Such language or behavior not only causes feelings of anxiety and repugnance, but could also violate the victims’ dignity as human beings and fuel discriminatory attitudes.
Recently, the hate speech has been widely reported in the media, on the Internet and elsewhere, illustrating a rise in social concern. Ways of dealing with hate speech were recommended to the government in “Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Japan” by the UN Human Rights Committee in July 2014 (PDF)* and “Concluding Observations on the Combined Seventh to Ninth Periodic Reports of Japan” by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August of the same year (PDF)*.
In response, the “Act on the Promotion of Efforts to Eliminate Unfair Discriminatory Speech and Behavior against Persons Originating from Outside Japan” was enacted by the National Diet of Japan and brought into force on Friday, June 3rd, 2016.
Meanwhile, the human rights organizations of the Ministry of Justice are actively engaged in public awareness-raising and PR campaigns, using the methods shown below, to make it clearly understood that this kind of hate speech is not acceptable. These are in addition to the awareness campaign previously conducted on the theme of “Human Rights of Foreign Nationals” (“Respect for Foreign Nationals’ Rights”).
*Links to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.