Tokyo Court Orders 1.3-M.-Yen Damages Payment over Racism

Society

Tokyo, May 13 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court has ordered a man from Oita Prefecture, southwestern Japan, to pay 1.3 million yen in damages for posting on his blog discriminatory comments about Koreans living in Japan.

The damages amount was raised from 910,000 yen ordered by the Kawasaki branch of Yokohama District Court in Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan. The plaintiff, an 18-year-old university student from Kanagawa whose family members are Koreans living in Japan, sought 3 million yen in damages from the man in Oita, claiming that his ethnic identify was damaged by the man’s blog comments.

“The posted comments were extremely vicious,” Presiding Judge Yukio Shirai said when handing down the ruling on Wednesday.

The damages amount, of which 1 million yen is compensation for mental suffering, is unusually high for one posting of comments, according to a lawyer for the plaintiff.

As the latest ruling said racial discrimination itself is illegal, it is expected to have a deterrent effect on hate speech, the lawyer said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press