Tokyo City has decided to establish a draft ordinance on regulating “hate speech,” hateful remarks on certain race. Tokyo is the third place to enact a hate speech regulation within Japan following Osaka in July 2016 and Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture in March this year.
According to the Asahi Shimbun on Tuesday, Tokyo Metropolis reported such draft ordinance at the provincial assembly. Under the ordinance, acts that provoke discrimination against foreigners or certain race shall be deemed to be an “act of unjust discrimination” and restricting the use of public facilities in case there is high possibility of a hate speech shall be included. Tokyo Metropolis has set its goal to submit the draft ordinance on hate speech to the Diet in fall and fully implementation the ordinance in April 2019.
Actions such as deleting and preventing any spread of contents related to hate speech that are taking place online is included in the draft regulation as well. Details such as ensuring the freedom and right to expression will also be stated in the draft ordinance, given that such ordinance may violate the freedom of expression.
The law on deterring hate speech, however, has its limits as there is no provision on punishment. Ordinance of Kawasaki City also does not have a separate provision on punishment, and only provides a guideline on regulating assemblies in advance when it becomes a problem. Tokyo Metropolis is at the moment, drawing up regulations on restricting the use of facilities. People are pointing out that a strong punishment is necessary for complete eradication of hate speech as protests targeting Koreans in Japan is becoming a social issue.