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Man fined ¥300,000 for online hate speech

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Terrible law, and terrible legal outcome.

The man's comments do not appear to have been directed against the woman who filed the complaint. He was making no direct threats. Saying "I don't trust Koreans" or "I don't think foreigners should have the same rights as citizens" now counts as hate speech, even though these are perfectly common views to hold for people in any country. It was a handful of generic Twitter comments, not a pattern of targeted harassment.

The outcome of laws like this will not ultimately be more tolerance in society, but more intolerance. Now, with this case, people will be afraid to speak their minds. Normal people will start feeling like victims because their freedom to think and express themselves is being limited. The eventual backlash against laws like this will almost certainly be worse for foreigners in Japan than any three or four Twitter comments were.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

What about those Black trucks and Vans with mounted speakers, war flags and street corner mega phones of those ultra nationalist, sputtering hate and stirring up all those "good Japanese" HQ'd around the Yak-soon-knee, and other areas?

11 ( +23 / -12 )

If someone threatens to harm or kill another person online there are already laws in place to deal with that threat. But if that same person is banned from making his threat online because of some hate speech law, then how would anyone know that person is a threat?! At least it's out in the open. It's better to keep freedom of speech laws as they are and use other existing laws to deal with the threat before any violence takes place.

Also who decides the definition of 'hate speech'? If hate speech laws are introduced then it can get out of hand and be used to suppress anything an authoritarian govt doesn't like. Witness China.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

re: Yes, what about them? I was talking about this with a friend at lunch today and we agreed we haven't seen any of them in Tokyo for a good while. Can it be due to the tight labor market making it possible for anyone to find a job? The tide lifts all boats, etc.

They are still around, just depends on location s they move around a lot. If one cares not to read a post, skip it and move on no matter if it falls on intent of racist. That person make that comment may view it differently and not just hate. Everyone is entitled to voice their comments regardless of what it is. The more one gives them an audience the more it will happen. Just move on and prove them wrong. The many differences in each of us is what makes life not boring but brings about change.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This is a very slippery slope to be on, that I hope the rest of Japan does not take. Copying the PC of The West ie removing Freedom of Speech, is not the way to go about "protecting" people from "hate speech".

Give these few idiots the freedom to say what they will, however offensive. You can be sure 99.9 percent of Japanese will come down on them like a ton of bricks if they take it too far. No need for this PC legislation.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

This kind of punishment is a scary harbinger of the government control and intimidation that is to come. I don’t in any way see how it is helpful to society for a powerless persons speech to bring such a response. Some may consider it harassment but any oppositional speech can be considered harassment these days. Just look at college campuses in the West.

If the man was using in person threats that is one thing. Posts on the Internet are very different. It is sad to see the slippery slope extend all the way from American college campuses to Japanese neighborhoods.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Odd . . . the article doesn't mention the hannin's name, but gives the victim's name. Isn't this backwards?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is absolutely ridiculous. How is that even hate speech? I see much more vile and nasty insults against Koreans on my twitter literally all the time. Example: https://imgur.com/a/ysTve4g

You don't have a right not to be offended.

If they want to tackle the discrimination and hate against Koreans, they should do an information campaign and educate people about misconceptions. Banning people from literally expressing how they feel is not going to make them stop feeling that way. If anything, it will drive them underground where they will breed more easily.

This is just yet another manifestation of the Japanese way of thinking - if there is a problem, ignore it. They think suppressing a problem will solve it. No.. They do nothing about actually resolving the issue. The way to resolve the issue is by TALKING about it. The last thing you wanna do is suppress it. Government cannot make a society civilized. Civilized people make a society civilized.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

LOL

Cowardly manchild. Tried to be a keyboard warrior, now he’s going to be poor(er) for a long time.

Well done to all those involved

3 ( +22 / -19 )

A good start.

3 ( +25 / -22 )

Truly a very slippery slope. There are no protections for freedom of speech here.

3 ( +19 / -16 )

GreenPees:

Also who decides the definition of 'hate speech'?

That is the central question here! I have yet to see a hate speech law supporter give a clear answer.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"Yes, what about them? I was talking about this with a friend at lunch today and we agreed we haven't seen any of them in Tokyo for a good while." 

Looks like they may shifted to Yokohama Fujisawa Odawara Shizuoka and Okinawa for the winter. But you can still find a few in Ueno, and Saitama.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The posts consisted of remarks such as "the craftiness of showing off their ethnicity pisses me off," and "I won't tolerate Koreans living carefree in Japan behind the shield of discrimination. I don't recognize any of their rights."

Fined for saying this???

The nanny state has arrived in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki Today 10:13 am JST

This one does. It's usually termed as "inciting separatism" (basically, separatism is anything the CCP finds sufficiently annoying).

You are correct. My mistake.

I found the following regarding China and its hate speech laws:

In 1997, China amended its criminal law and added two articles that are relevant to hate speech.

Article 249 of the Criminal Law provides that:

Whoever incites ethnic hatred or discrimination, if the circumstances are serious, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; if the circumstances are especially serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years.

Article 250 of the Criminal Law provides that: Where  a publication  carries  an  article  designated  to  discriminate or humiliate an ethnic group, if the circumstances are flagrant and the consequences are serious, the persons who are directly responsible for the offense shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance.Public Security Administration Punishments Law [治安管理处罚法] also punishes hate speech of a minor nature.

Article 47 of the Law provides that:

Anyone who incites ethnic hatred or discrimination, or publishes any content discriminating or insulting any ethnic group in any publication or on the Internet, shall be detained for not less than 10 days but not more than 15 days, and may be concurrently fined 1,000 yuan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Neither China, nor Saudi-Arabia, nor Pakistan have hate speech laws. Neither the Soviet Union, nor Nazi Germany exist today.

They absolutely do (did), even if the label is different. Censoring speech is exactly that, no matter how much lipstick you put on that pig.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Penalizing hate speech is not the answer.

You are artificially creating a climate of 'tolerance.'

In a proper democratic and healthy society, allowing hate speech in fact allows those who disagree with such speech to voice their opinions.

This is why in the past several years you have seen Japanese anti-racist counter demonstrations against right wingers marching through the streets.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

This kind of thing raises so many questions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for punishing racist behavior but 300,000 for tweet by someone who doesn’t have a large web presence and influence is a bit excessive. When I read the quotes of the tweet in the article, it seemed to be that he was just expressing bigoted thoughts. Horrible opinions but they weren’t inciting violence nor promoting organized hate.

I do believe though that the last part about not respecting their rights is punishable...but not 300,000. Freedom of speech should also be taken into consideration.

If this is the direction the prefecture is going with in doling out fines, I hope they also track down every like and retweet and fine those users as well. At least be fair with the punishments.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If you read this part of the article it does seem to have been harrassment directed (anonymously) against one person (Choi) online.

Quote: 'According to the indictment, the man posted hateful remarks directed at Choi Kang I Ja, a 46-year-old resident of Kawasaki in the prefecture, on Twitter four times between June 2016 and September 2017. Choi's lawyer said the two had never met. The posts consisted of remarks such as "the craftiness of showing off their ethnicity pisses me off," and "I won't tolerate Koreans living carefree in Japan behind the shield of discrimination. I don't recognize any of their rights." Police had referred the man to prosecutors for alleged intimidation. But they decided not to indict him in February. Choi then filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors for a suspected breach of the ordinance.

Choi started being harassed online after she advocated against hate speech using her real name in March 2016. The harassment continued until police searched the man's house in December 2017, according to Morooka. "It has been a long three and a half years. Even though the posts were written anonymously, (the offender) was identified and he has finally been held criminally responsible," Choi told the press conference with tears in her eyes.'

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's not about free speech. The guy is a bully that targeted someone. The possible slippery slope is if we allow the bullies to rule, other people will no longer dare being on social media and their rights will be restrained.

fine should be based on ones ability to pay. A trillionaire can afford a ¥300k fine, a pensioner on ¥100k per month cannot.

They have a system in Switzerland, as the fine rates are related to income. Not perfectly fair as a Bezos has no ' income' when the value of his stocks grow. It's a good start that seemed to deter the sports car owners from considering they could just pay a fee to ignore road rules.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So much for free speech and silencing people and the overall problem. Nothing new. japan has been doing it for so long. A threat is one thing, but someone expressing their dissatisfaction or traumatic and painful and resentful experiences from certain situations is another thing. but i can understand some would think the same thing can evolve into threats and actions. other than that possibility why are they threatened by what 'trolls' or angry people post in disatisfaction? 'trolls' and people who post things in some cricumstances have been wronged, seen or experienced something, or something else. if they did not have such a dissastisfaction, they would not be online and maybe out enjoying this wonderful life with all the wonderful great people in it! i doubt they would post online. they should have invited the person out for drinks and maybe changed the persons outlook. i am no therapist but better than sweeping the problem under the rug or silently murdering those people.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Lastly, for those that are asking “What if somebody threatened you?” Or anything along those lines, my answer is this. Threatening to kill or harm someone is not “an Expression” if you will. Nor is it voicing any opinions regarding anything. It is a statement pledging to commit a crime. That’s why THAT is not protected under free-speech.

However, as loathsome as it is, expressing a hate, or especially a dislike, for a person, group, or thing, even if it IS on the basis of race, religion, or anything else, IS protected under free-speech provisions of constitutions. But like I said, if someone wants to make threats, especially to persons of different races, religions, etc. That’s a totally different story. By all means prosecute them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I don't see how anyone that values freedom can support this fine, or any laws that prosecute 'hate speech.'

It is indeed a slippery slope.

And again, I find it fascinating that those who applaud this type of ruling and laws punishing 'hate speech' in Japan, then ignore or even applaud South Koreans who march publicly against all things Japanese, burn Japanese flags, boycott Japanese products/businesses, and espouse hatred against Japanese. Not only that, but these same people themselves engage in a form of hate speech against all Japanese, completely falsifying what Japan did or didn't do in terms of past apologies, and always ascribing negative attributes to the people and country, never once saying anything remotely positive about them.

Double standards and hypocrisy as always.

1 ( +23 / -22 )

Making a comment is one thing, but to go overboard in continued harassment is quite different. I'm for free speech regardless of what is posted and can value that opinion despite me not liking it, however when it crosses into the line of harassment well there went your free speech out the door. We may not all agree or disagree but a voice is important not to lose it regardless as one understands it the first time. Once is enough.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Pukey:

If someone threatened to kill you, would that fall under freedom of speech?

No, that is a specific personal threat of a crime. Much different from the rubbery concept of "hate speech".

Ask yourself another question: The JT readers forum is full of hate speech against Donald Trump and his supprters. Should that be banned? I say no. How about you?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

the article doesn't mention the hannin's name, but gives the victim's name. 

She gave interviews and does not want to hide. But it's unfair he can't be named and his acquaintances don't get the opportunity to ask him directly what he meant...

His property rights were infringed as 300,000 dollars were taken from him.

YEN. 30 man. Compared to the trouble, it's a token. Less than the fee for Choi's lawyers. Less than the hours of work of investigators, prosecutors and judges. Little compared to the feeling of being threatened by a hidden creep during 2 years.

Third, at least as rendered in English, the man's statements were abstract, with terms like "they" instead of "she".

There are no pronouns. That darling doesn't want to let the 'zainichi chosenjin' live safely : 「差別を楯(たて)にのうのうと暮らす在日朝鮮人を許さない」 You'd think what if you received 4 times a message "I won't let your-ethnicity/color/religion live safely" ?

When you get down to it, he *only used words.

ONLY death threats over 2 years. When should justice consider violence starts ? Not only for words ? Not if only aimed a gun at her ? It's for fun ? Not only if shot and missed ? Just joking ? Not only if wounded her ? Just playing and it's an accident ?

He has suffered a reputation hit for having a criminal record.

The shame of being a criminal. Happens whenever you choose to be one.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Ah - the good old "slippery slope" logical fallacy. A slippery slope logical fallacy is a single event that portends future similar events. There are plenty of similar events going on that make the logical fallacy argument non applicable.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@oldman_13 thank you old man. Once again, you prove to be a voice of reason regarding very emotional issues like this.

Truly a very slippery slope. There are no protections for freedom of speech here.

but what about the provision in Japanese constitution protecting freedom of speech? As well as religion and the press? I’ll be surprised if there’s no constitutional challenges to this provision because of it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ah_soDec. 28 11:40 pm JSTGood judgement. The anonymity of the internet gives trolls a good vantage point to spread hatred but also cause distress at those it is aimed at.

Language which is primarily designed to cause distress to a minority and to cause others to hate them is hate speech. To consider that that it falls under the coverage of free speech is a stretch. If I declared that "Jews are evil and have no place in society", I know it would cause enormous hurt and also make society less safe for them.

Such language has no place in civilized society.

No it doesn't. Planting negative stereotypes on certain peoples always encourages violence because it portrays others as less than human.

Look at the USA right now. Trump blurted that Hispanics were robbers, rapists, dole swindlers, derelicts'. That's HATE. Look at the ICE raids and his evil kidnappings of those children - and they are dying in concentration camps.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Bugle Boy of Company B

By "we" I take it that you mean Americans.

FWIW, some examples of hate speech laws from various countries include

It is an offense to advocate or promote genocide, which is defined as killing members of an identifiable group, or inflicting conditions of life on a group which are calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the group. 

It is an offense to communicate statements in a public place which incite hatred against an identifiable group, where it is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. Iit is an offense to willfully promote hatred against any identifiable group, by making statements (other than in private conversation).

It is an offense to publicly mock, defame, denigrate or threaten a person or group of persons by comments or expressions of another nature, for example by means of pictures or symbols, for their nationality, colour, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or disseminates such materials.

It is an offense to publish or distribute "threatening, abusive, or insulting ... matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons ... on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons"

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Making threats of violence against someone is one thing, but nobody ever seems to be able to definitively explain what 'hate speech' is, what it isn't, and how those rules couldn't be quickly twisted to arbitrarily put lots of people on the wrong side of the law.

Moreover, there's that pesky Japanese constitution:

Chapter III, Article 21

Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. (集会、結社及び言論、出版その他一切の表現の自由は、これを保障する。)

No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated. (検閲は、これをしてはならない。通信の秘密は、これを侵してはならない。)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I disagree with your hate speech against Trump

It's not hate speech. How many times does this need explaining to you? You are allowed to hate things, and you are allowed to say it. I'm allowed to say 'I hate Trump'. You are allowed to say that you hate me. I'm not allowed to threaten him or harass him based on his race, religion or ethnicity. Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

Now tell me I am wrong.

You're wrong. Got that?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"a local ordinance in Kanagawa Prefecture bans troublesome behavior"

What about other prefects in Tokyo, i.e. Bunkyo-ku?

"It is the first time a criminal punishment has been imposed for hate speech under such an ordinance"

aint that the truth

The criminal penalty serves as a deterrent to an extent,

"There needs to be laws to punish discrimination itself,"  Especially in Public places in Tokyo.

There also needs to be more coppers that will follow through on such a complaint

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Stupid man and stupid law.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This seems quite a problematic conviction beyond ordinary freedom of speech concerns. From this:

prosecutors to have violated a local ordinance in Kanagawa Prefecture that bans troublesome behavior

the man hasn't even been prosecuted for the hate-speech ordinance, because that does not come into force until July next year. Instead, the longtime ordinance that "bans troublesome behavior" (presumably 迷惑防止条例) was expanded beyond its traditional interpretation to club him, along with a fine equivalent to a full month's wages. This creates clear questions concerning legality.

The man hasn't been given a fair opportunity to comply, however grudgingly and resentfully, with the new ordinance. The law just "expanded" to club him.

I hope he will appeal, and the conviction overturned. Sticking to principle is important.

There need to be laws to punish discrimination itself

When you do that, you essentially deprive the majority to benefit the minority. This is hard to defend except perhaps by the full voluntary consent of the majority within the affected area.

"I won't tolerate Koreans living carefree in Japan behind the shield of discrimination. I don't recognize any of their rights."

You know, you can even interpret this to say that by "any of their rights" he meant to say those "special rights" that the Koreans are often accused of having (and which Kawasaki seems determined to ensure they have at least one genuine article) and not say their "basic human rights". If we agree there are special rights, it is hard to justify punishing him for pointing this out, no matter how bothered Ms. Choi is.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Abusive, targeted speech towards a single individual adult that leads to any other actions needs to be criminal.

No speech that calls for any violence is legal, even in the USA where the freedom of speech almost always takes priority over other "rights" guaranteed by the US Constitution. Allowing nasty ideas to be stated is a downside with freedom of speech, but it is better than govt censorship, everywhere, always.

But having a respectful, exchange and disagreement over ideas shouldn't be prevented. I'm much more scared about govt deciding what speech can be allowed than I am being on the receiving end of someone calling me something nasty. When the govt locks someone up or breaks into their home over talking, that's a line that concerns me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seemed rhetorical, what was said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Odd . . . the article doesn't mention the hannin's name, but gives the victim's name. Isn't this backwards?

No, the article got it exactly right. The Korean is not the victim here. The guy who is speaking his mind and got slapped a fine for it is the real victim.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Jcosplay:

The countries with the most protections in the constitution are usually authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. The winner for the most democratic constitution = north korea. Anybody actually believe what they're selling?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Star punk: Planting negative stereotypes on certain peoples always encourages violence because it portrays others as less than human.

It is these kinds of falsehoods that are destroying free speech. Negative stereotypes do not always cause violence and do not imply that others are less than human. They can be used in such a manner but rarely are. The entire concept of “hate speech” is so malleable it has become an anti-free speech cudgel used selectively against a disfavored group.

Ironically the Left uses stereotypes in their use of identity politics to attack the Right. They are fighting the color blind ideal and the focus on individual rights and concentrate on differences based on demographic stereotypes. The Right responds that demographics are not destiny and are attacked in turn for not buying into the group stereotypes.

It is essential that people be allowed to make other people feel uncomfortable and to challenge their ideas. The Left seems to reserve this right for themselves while denying it to their political opponents. It is a double game that will not be tolerated- and rightfully so. Enter President Trump. The continuation of the game will only bolster his chances for re-election.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is essential that people be allowed to make other people feel uncomfortable and to challenge their ideas.

'Uncomfortable'? This was sustained harassment. Did you read important bits under the headline?

It is these kinds of falsehoods that are destroying free speech.

'Free speech' does not protect people from harassing others for over a year based on their ethnicity. If you allow people to attack and dehumanize people with impunity then violence will follow. Try reading a bit of the recent history of Germany, Rwanda, the Balkans et al then let's talk about 'falsehoods'.

Ironically the Left uses stereotypes in their use of identity politics to attack the Right.

Ironically, you are using stereotypes of 'Left' and 'Right', but you'll probably not recognize that.

Enter President Trump.

More irony! Ah yes, a man who claims to love his country but hates most of the people who live in it. A man who censors and insults those who point out his lies, encourages violence against those who disagree with him. A man who adores regimes that don't have 'free speech'. Good choice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just to add to my post above ... that doesn't mean that most people who think of themselves as Progressive don't have good intentions, it's just that they are misguided through propaganda coming out of the media, universities and so on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Chip StarToday 06:09 am JST

Speaking for myself, I don't use the "slippery slope" on these things. Even the present case, in itself, was wrong. Ultimately, the man inflicted no consequences on woman, but the woman whined and whined and whined until consequences were inflicted on man.

The principle of free speech is that speech should be consequenceless. Every derogation from that rule IS an attack on free speech.

@ClippetyClopToday 01:50 am JST

Quite frankly, that argument inverts Cause and Effect. There was already a substantial amount of resentment against certain ethnic groups, which is expressed in speech. There is no reason to believe if somehow we plug everyone's mouths the hate won't happen.

Besides, it has to be balanced against this: The hate speech law in itself constitutes positive discrimination, and by itself creates one more reason to hate an ethnic group. No matter how many excuses you make for it ultimately you have inflicted damage on the total rights of the majority, just to protect a ostensibly oppressed minority. This is an OBJECTIVE reason for resentment, and you want to avoid that like the plaque.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

*its more modern incarnations..., not incantations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't hate. 

Great advice. /s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

""I won't tolerate Koreans living carefree in Japan behind the shield of discrimination. I don't recognize any of their rights."

Notice how the victim is mentioned by name, but the criminal, who is 51, is not named at all. Why not?

oldman_13: "I don't see how anyone that values freedom can support this fine, or any laws that prosecute 'hate speech.'"

Of course you don't, because it was hate speech (no quotations, because it IS hate speech) directed at Koreans; a group you have no qualms directing your own vehemence towards constantly. Trust me, if this were a Korean state or municipality finding a Korean guilty of hate speech towards a Japanese person, you'd be not only up in arms towards the Korean(s) in question, and the nation as a whole, but you'd probably seek a lief sentence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Who gets to decide what is and isn't hate speech, you? I don't think so. What if I dictate that what you are saying is "hate speech", can we shut you down? What's hateful to one person isn't to another, it's subjective. Which is why freedom of speech, even speech that doesn't please you, is paramount. This guy is entitled to his opinions even if you, myself, or others find them foul.

As the old saying goes, The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Truly a very slippery slope. There are no protections for freedom of speech here.

If someone threatened to kill you, would that fall under freedom of speech?

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Name the miscreant.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Whether you agree or disagree with hate speech law, my issue is that the fine should be based on ones ability to pay. A trillionaire can afford a ¥300k fine, a pensioner on ¥100k per month cannot. Justice should demand people are treated equally. Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) and an average person would not be treated the same unless it was an income based fine. And they exist in some European countries.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

sf2k:

Good .. Other countries have hate speech laws and this will only improve society.

Oh really? Improved society, such as in China, Saudi-Arabia, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany? Mind-boggling.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

coskuriToday 05:45 am JST

YEN. 30 man.

My typo, my bad.

Compared to the trouble, it's a token. Less than the fee for Choi's lawyers.

Choi might have retained a lawyer for other reasons, but this is a criminal trial. The state's investigators, prosecutors and judges are doing all the work. The lawyer's contribution would be minimal.

Little compared to the feeling of being threatened by a hidden creep during 2 years.

Ah, but was she even threatened.

差別を楯(たて)にのうのうと暮らす在日朝鮮人を許さない

Well, I thought the Japanese would have looked something like this. All he said here was that he will not forgive (許さない) Zainichi (not Choi personally) because they use discrimination as a shield. (I suppose he meant to say "purported discrimination" but Twitter is Twitter.) What part of this looked like a death threat. It isn't even clear here he is going to apply any form of violence or coercion.

Bruce ChatwinToday 09:56 am JST

Neither China ... have hate speech laws.

This one does. It's usually termed as "inciting separatism" (basically, separatism is anything the CCP finds sufficiently annoying).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

expressing a hate, or especially a dislike, for a person, group, or thing, even if it IS on the basis of race, religion, or anything else, IS protected under free-speech provisions of constitutions

Not in enlightened countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Hate speech" is one of three things: 1) people being offended by something someone said, 2) people wanting to cause financial or social damage to the "offender", or 3) a combination of both 1 & 2.

If I say that I hate something, would this not be considered "hate speech"? "I hate spinach." Nothing but crickets. "I hate (insert ethnic group)." Now you're upset?

What if I say "I don't like (whoever)."? When does not liking become hate and therefore not legal?

How about, "I'm not particular towards (whoever)."?

We have laws protecting people against threats. Threats are not "hate speech".

We have laws protecting people against lies. (libel and slander). Libel and slander are not "hate speech".

Hate speech is a made up term used by people who want to control others.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

G'day, Bruce! How ya goin'?

"we" could mean Americans, but more specifically it means those of us living in Japan, as we (people living in Japan) are subject to the laws of Japan.

It is an offense to publish or distribute "threatening, abusive, or insulting ... matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons ... on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons"

As I pointed out, threats are already against the law. There's no need to double up.

It is an offense to communicate statements in a public place which incite hatred against an identifiable group, where it is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. Iit is an offense to willfully promote hatred against any identifiable group, by making statements (other than in private conversation).

I'd like to see the definition of "promoting hatred". What does that mean? People take meaning as they want to.

It is an offense to publicly mock, defame, denigrate or threaten a person or group of persons by comments or expressions of another nature, for example by means of pictures or symbols, for their nationality, colour, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or disseminates such materials.

Defamation is already against the law.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

clippetyclop:

I'm not allowed to threaten him or harass him based on his race, religion or ethnicity. Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

In the outlandish hate rants against Trump that we see here daily, such fine lines are blurred all the time. And who is supposed to be the judge of what is "hate speech" and what is "allowed speech"? You?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ironically the Left uses stereotypes in their use of identity politics to attack the Right.

Agree but just to be clear it's not even the Left of a generation ago anymore. The real Left would have been aghast at the thought of anything like hate speech laws. It's Marxism hidden behind the more modern incantations of Progressivism and Woke and more similar to Fascism than the true Left. Ironically the things the Progressive crowd are against are the very things that will eventually enslave them. They need to wake up (Woke?) and realise they're being played.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Clippety: 'Uncomfortable'? This was sustained harassment. Did you read important bits under the headline?

My comments were more focused on free speech and not specifically to this case. I am not Japanese and it isn’t for me to say what laws they should make for themselves. Whenever I am residing in Japan I must adhere to their laws and standards. I just feel that in this case for the government to punish a person for his comments on the Internet is going too far. In fact it is a human rights violation to control ones free speech through government control.

Here is the worst of the mans comments reported in the story :

The posts consisted of remarks such as "the craftiness of showing off their ethnicity pisses me off," and "I won't tolerate Koreans living carefree in Japan behind the shield of discrimination. I don't recognize any of their rights."

To me this comments are simply crass and small minded. They do more harm to him than the target of his ire.

Kevin; Who gets to decide what is and isn't hate speech, you? I don't think so

This is why the idea of hate speech and making it a crime is so pernicious. The people in power decide what hate speech is and is not and use it to punish the group out of power.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Persecuting people for "hate speech" is s slippery slope that I would have hope Japan does not get onto.

If we are talking about anonymous harrassment of a person, there should be other options than punishing him for undefined "hate speech".

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

You can hate but not on a racial difference...

Good move but I wonder why it is on a prefectural basis only.

Hatred is a human character to educate if one wishes war no never happen again.

Freedom of speech must have limits versus other freedoms type (one should not negate verbally gender or racial equality for instance.). I was a pro when young then realized that some abused over weak minded that had consequences.

Caregul with words that asks for action.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Negative comments and "harassment" are two different things. As a Westerner I just don't think harassment should be covered by free speech.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Good judgement. The anonymity of the internet gives trolls a good vantage point to spread hatred but also cause distress at those it is aimed at.

Language which is primarily designed to cause distress to a minority and to cause others to hate them is hate speech. To consider that that it falls under the coverage of free speech is a stretch. If I declared that "Jews are evil and have no place in society", I know it would cause enormous hurt and also make society less safe for them.

Such language has no place in civilized society.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Good .. Other countries have hate speech laws and this will only improve society. USA isn't one of them and look at that mess.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Oh really? Improved society, such as in China, Saudi-Arabia, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany?

Neither China, nor Saudi-Arabia, nor Pakistan have hate speech laws. Neither the Soviet Union, nor Nazi Germany exist today.

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all have hate speech laws in one form or another. Funnily enough, none of these countries have the death penalty.

On the other hand, the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran all have capital punishment; with the United States being the only Western country to still use the death penalty.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Negative feelings towards others bordering on or even becoming hatred are very human negative emotions and if we are honest we've all got at least a little of it somewhere inside us which are easy to let slip out of our mouths/keyboards. So what are we gonna do? Fine every single person for ever saying/posting something deemed 'hateful'? If evenly applied we will all be censored. But it won't be evenly applied. Only the politically incorrect minority will be censored in the end.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Of course the fear mongering ensues as expected. The premise couldn't be any simpler. Don't hate. Don't get fined. Simple as that.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

ClippetyClop:

More irony! Ah yes, a man who claims to love his country but hates most of the people who live in it. A man who censors and insults those who point out his lies, encourages violence against those who disagree with him. A man who adores regimes that don't have 'free speech'.

I disagree with your hate speech against Trump, but I insist you should be allowed to say it. I do NOT think that your hate speech should censored and you should be punished for it.

Now tell me I am wrong.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithjapan:

Trust me, if this were a Korean state or municipality finding a Korean guilty of hate speech towards a Japanese person, you'd be not only up in arms towards the Korean(s) in question, and the nation as a whole, but you'd probably seek a lief sentence.

No, we do not trust you. You are simply making up a fictional claim.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The first step down the wrong path. I see the bad influence of the west rubbing off on Japan.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Give these few idiots the freedom to say what they will, however offensive. You can be sure 99.9 percent of Japanese will come down on them like a ton of bricks if they take it too far. No need for this PC legislation.

99.9% seems a bit generous, but I won't quibble about that. What always strikes me about hate speech, trolls etc. online in any country is that it would be massively reduced if we were all forced to use our real names as user names. Most people would think twice about spraying wild abuse online if they knew they could instantly be identified by any friend, co-worker etc who happened to be "following" him/her, reading the comments to the same article etc. Surely this could be made an enforceable law (?). Why can't this happen?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

coskuriToday 12:57 am JST

It's not about free speech. The guy is a bully that targeted someone. The possible slippery slope is if we allow the bullies to rule, other people will no longer dare being on social media and their rights will be restrained.

Oh, and can you explain to me how the degree of coercion he used on Choi is in any way comparable to the degree of coercion he received? When you get down to it, he only used words. His property rights were infringed as 300,000 dollars were taken from him. He has suffered a reputation hit for having a criminal record.

Second, it is not even clear how Choi was targeted - was one of her posts quoted?

Third, at least as rendered in English, the man's statements were abstract, with terms like "they" instead of "she".

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

It is indeed a slippery slope.

Ah - the good old "slippery slope" logical fallacy. A favoured argument of those who don't even a small change.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

You can call somebody's ideas idiotic but you cannot call the person an idiot.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I don't see how anyone that values freedom can support this fine, or any laws that prosecute 'hate speech.'

It is indeed a slippery slope.

The slippery slope argument is the weakest form of critical discourse. Slippery slopes are formed up with words.

Hate speech and hate crimes are not trying to control what you think; they are sending the message that society doesn’t tolerate hate. Hate all you want, but suffer the consequences of you act upon that hate.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What about those Black trucks and Vans with mounted speakers, war flags and street corner mega phones of those ultra nationalist, sputtering hate and stirring up all those "good Japanese" HQ'd around the Yak-soon-knee, and other areas?

Yes, what about them? I was talking about this with a friend at lunch today and we agreed we haven't seen any of them in Tokyo for a good while. Can it be due to the tight labor market making it possible for anyone to find a job? The tide lifts all boats, etc.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Herve LEisa

A slippery slope? But it could slip in the right direction. The individuals are not the problem. It's more the corporations that I would like to see changed.

A 51 year old man has been thinking the same way for 50 years and his life is finite. He isn't going to change. But companies and governments are a different case.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Someone might force someone to make hate speech on someone who could also be doing the same thing on someone. It's always a roll-over esp when someone is behind the screen.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

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