Top Court Finds Ordinance against Hate Speech Constitutional


Tokyo, Feb. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court ruled that an ordinance enacted by the western city of Osaka to restrict hate speech is constitutional, rejecting the claim of some residents that it unconstitutionally infringes on the freedom of speech.

Chief Justice Saburo Tokura handed down the ruling Tuesday on appeals filed by citizens demanding that the city ask the mayor at the time to cover expenses the city incurred by enforcing the ordinance. All five justices at the Third Petty Bench of the top court found the ordinance constitutional.

Enforced in 2016, the ordinance allows the city government, when it recognizes forms of hate speech based on opinions of a panel of experts, to release the content and the name of the individual or group involved and request the content's removal.

Osaka District Court and Osaka High Court both ruled that the ordinance is constitutional.

Citing discriminatory propaganda activities that were frequently seen in the city when the ordinance was established, the top court said in Tuesday's ruling that the ordinance "is designed to deter racist and other discriminatory behaviors that are highly vicious."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press