Japan's 1st Ordinance to Punish Hate Speech OK'd in Kawasaki

Politics

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Pref., Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)--The Kawasaki assembly in Kanagawa Prefecture passed an ordinance Thursday to impose criminal penalties on those who make hate speech in public places, the first such local ordinance in Japan.

The ordinance, set to take full effect July 1 next year, was enacted at a plenary assembly meeting of the city just south of Tokyo. Two assembly members left just before the ballot, while all of the remaining 57 members voted for the measure.

The ordinance gives a highly strict definition of discriminatory speech and behavior for the sake of freedom of expression.

The ordinance bans all forms of discrimination, including that on the basis of race, nationality and sexual orientation.

A fine of up to 500,000 yen will be imposed on those who repeat discriminatory speech or behavior against people from abroad or their offspring.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press