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OSAKA —An Osaka-based group of Korean residents filed a complaint with the city of Osaka against those who posted footage of hate speech rallies and offensive comments online.
The move comes as Japan’s first ordinance to deter racist propaganda came into effect the same day, enabling the city of Osaka to publicly disclose on its official website the names of groups or individuals engaging in hate speech.
If such groups or individuals post offending contents online, the city can ask Internet service providers to remove them.
A law to deter hate speech, enacted in May, has no clause to prohibit or penalize it.
According to the Korean residents group, the hate speech footage was uploaded to video streaming websites such as YouTube and niconico. The group filed the complaint against those responsible for uploading the footage and repeatedly posting discriminatory remarks on social media as well as hosting a blog containing derogatory comments.
The ordinance defines hate speech as communication that defames and aims to exclude a particular group based on race or ethnicity, and disseminating such a message to a large number of people, including via online transmission.
Whether the allegations are recognized as constituting hate speech depends on a decision by a five-member panel of experts tasked under the ordinance with judging if an individual or group is engaged in hate speech after hearing views from those involved.
Based on the panel’s evaluation, the mayor of Osaka will decide whether the cases raised constitute hate speech.
Before filing the complaint, the group submitted a petition to Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura, requesting that groups or individuals apparently engaging in activities constituting hate speech should not be permitted to use public facilities.
In recent years, confrontations have erupted between anti-Korean groups holding rallies and those opposed to their activities, especially in Osaka’s Tsuruhashi area and Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district, both known as Koreatowns.