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2,000 rally against hate speech in Tokyo's Shinjuku

102 Comments

Around 2,000 people gathered to march against hate speech at a rally in Tokyo's Shinjuku district on Sunday.

Demonstrators marched around Shinjuku Station holding placards reading "We oppose hate speech" and "Let's get along," while chanting "Stop discrimination, let's live together," NHK reported. A brass band and dancers also performed as participants attempted to spread a positive message in opposition to anti-Korean rallies that often take place on the city's streets.

At a meeting prior to the start of the march, singer Hisashi Yoshino, 45, told fellow participants, "I don't want to live in a city in which there is racism. There's no other way to stamp it out other than each and every one of us making an effort to stop discriminating."

Despite the enormous popularity of K-Pop, Korean food and beauty products, relations between Japan and South Korea have been strained for quite some time. In particular, Shin-Okubo, which is home to many ethnic businesses, has been the scene of many protests by rightwing groups this year. The groups have become increasingly vocal, with anti-Korean protests occurring more and more frequently, especially in areas where many Koreans congregate and live.

In one big rally in April, hundreds of anti-Korean protesters marched through the streets carrying signs reading “Go back to Korea!” and labeling Koreans in Japan “cockroaches.”

However, an equally large number of Japanese also showed up to protest the protest. “You are the shame of this country!” “You’re the ones who need to go home!” “Get back to the Internet where you belong!”

A large contingent of police were on hand at Sunday's rally but there were no clashes between opposing sides.

© Japan Today

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102 Comments
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We hate Hate. We hate Hate.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

So, the protesters protest the protests of the protesters' protests. Makes perfect sense!

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

However, an equally large number of Japanese also showed up to protest the protest. “You are the shame of this country!” “You’re the ones who need to go home!” “Get back to the Internet where you belong!”

I love it!

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Get back to the Internet where you belong!

No, we don't want them here on the Internet!

20 ( +25 / -5 )

“I don’t want to live in a city in which there is racism. There’s no other way to stamp it out other than each and every one of us making an effort to stop discriminating.”

I'm just curious, what type of phone does he have? I know some Japanese who will not be caught dead with a Samsung phone. When I tell them that I-phones are made in China, they say "yes but Apple is an American company." And these are people who are somewhat open minded.

I applaud their efforts, but I think that the problem goes much deeper than they care to realize or understand.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Whats wrong with people hating people....

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Yeah, so let's get rid of the okyu scum while we're at it...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

2000 is not many, but in a xenophobic state as Japan it does show not all people swallow the right wing doctrine. Genetically Japanese are an off shoot of Koreans... The Emperor descended from a Korean blood line, what a beautiful world?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

while chanting “Stop discrimination, let’s live together,”

Something tells me they STILL won't let me in the most of the Pink Salons downtown..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Was there today. One side of shinjuku had the black trucks with guys trying to look tough and the other these protesters. Don't know if they met.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are no statutes or special laws to crack down on hate speech in Japan unless directed at a specific individual or group.. These people are not protesting racism as a whole but are protesting against ethnic discrimination.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There’s no other way to stamp it out other than each and every one of us making an effort to stop discriminating.

Yeah, I don't know how effective it is at touching the hearts of the ones doing the hating, but I'm glad there are people working in a positive direction.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

'The shame of this country'. The irritating neanderthals in the black vans are nothing compared to the Ishiharas and Hashimotos. Cross-eyed yak types spewing semi-literate crap on the streets of Tokyo is generally ignored, elected officials are generally not.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So, the protesters protest the protests of the protesters' protests.

Americans, in their zeal to banish prepositions from the English language, have completely mangled the verb "to protest."

"To protest" means to proclaim, to speak out.

As in "I protest my innocence" - which in current American usage would appear to mean "I object to the fact that I'm innocent" rather than "I proclaim that I am innocent."

"I protest against your laws" however is entirely logical and understandable.

I wish the first language of the USA had been Spanish not English, then Americans could mangle that language instead of ours :-)

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Until there is no one is %100 japanese or whatever race/color,category etc etc there will always be racism. You will always ignorant people who believe they are superior to anyone they deem not "one of them"same thing in the US and the rest of the world sad but true.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"At a meeting prior to the start of the march, singer Hisashi Yoshino, 45, told fellow participants, “I don’t want to live in a city in which there is racism. There’s no other way to stamp it out other than each and every one of us making an effort to stop discriminating.”

I agree with Hisashi Yoshino.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Japan needs laws to combat racism. Some say that the populace should be educated first, but that's not the way it's happened elsewhere. In the UK in the 1950s, when large scale immigration really began, wording such as "no Irish, no coloureds" were not uncommon in ads for apartments, job vacancies etc. The government rightly brought in legislation to outlaw this, and social attitudes changed accordingly. The Japanese government seems to have no intention of combating racism, or it would do something similar.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan needs laws? Japan has lots of laws, few are used.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Whats weird about the black trucks is that many of those people are acutally Korean? If your a zainichi, why would you protest against your own people?

I agree with the poster about Japans laws. Japan has many, but when it comes to foriegners, most are only enforced according to situational ethics.

Example; if Im caught peeing in public, someone will inform me its illegal or call police. If Japanese do it, they look they other way.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

People need the right to protest and speak out. You see alot of anti-Japan sentiments coming from Korean and Chinese state-run media(s). But Japan should not get focused on all this hate and war-mongering. The build up of military might to combat an imaginary Chinese military is specifically foolish since most Chinese military is used for domestic enforcement.

Korea has their own issues being a divided country.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I will say again, Let them spew their venom. For the following reasons.

Free Speech applies to all, even if you don't like them (excepting of course, imprecations to violence).

Useful to gauge the level of discontent within one's community. If you have a whole lot of them show up, you might want to actually listen.

Crowds like this attract violent nutters. A good way to track those sorts and neutralize them if they become a problem.

A Democratic Republic is not pretty, nor particularly nice. But it seems to work

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sadly this type of scenario is not unique to Japan. Manifestations of all sorts expressing hate as well as the opposite urging to be against such hate have become common through out the world. Humanity is in trouble and failed to learn the lessons from the last two World Wars.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The situation would improve if both Korea nations stop their hatred toward Japan, and do not count on it. Racism will subdue when gradual positive steps take place. Who is at large behind these protesters, perhaps the Moonies who worshiping the Korean messiah?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wow! Finally a protest that actually makes sense! The "we hate the haters one" not the "we hate Koreans one"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whats weird about the black trucks is that many of those people are acutally Korean? If your a zainichi, why would you protest against your own people?

@Mike45 - That's interesting. Care to provide source?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If this happened in Australia or the US there would be quite a public backlash but not so in Japan. I wonder how much coverage it got in the media....

Come on Japan, get with the times and start protecting your foreign residents, the world will be watching in a few years at your Olympics..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@taiko666 Good point. The message must come from above when dealing with discrimination. The anti-discrimination laws in the UK obviously didn't change attitudes overnight and Powell's 'River Tiber' speech made him the most popular politician in the country at the time, although many Brits like to forget that. However, Powell was sacked by Heath for that speech and Heath's message was clear - he didn't want his party associated with it. What Powell said 45 years ago wouldn't raise too many eyebrows if a Japanese politician said it today and Ishihara and Hashimoto actually go further. I like Japan and I've lived here for 14 years and I don't see the issue of discrimination against foreigners on most people's list of priorities and I doubt most have even given it a second thought. Others would be shocked to hear or wouldn't like to hear that there is any discrimination in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think japan and Korea needs to set aside differences and just get along.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's good to see, finally some voice of reason to speak out. But I heard the head of this movement is a Zainichi Korean, and many of the protestors were Zainichi's and gaijins. It's too bad, but most Japanese still don't believe racism doesn't exist in their country.

Frankly it's strange why there's so much hate, there aren't many foreign immigrant population in Japan, and what's there, the numbers have been shrinking. The number of ethnic Koreans in Japan who have been living in Japan for over 80 years, also have been rapidly shrinking, as they melt and assimilate into general population due to generation changes.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

chucky3176

It's good to see, finally some voice of reason to speak out. But I heard the head of this movement is a Zainichi Korean, and many of the protestors were Zainichi's and gaijins. It's too bad, but most Japanese still don't believe racism doesn't exist in their country.

No chucky... you have no idea what you're talking about. They are mostly Japanese, not that it matters. There are some Zainichi Koreans and actually there is a lot of strife among the ideologically opposed Japanese and Zainichi Koreans. It's not about Japanese vs Koreans anymore, it's more racists vs. counter protesters vs. counter-counter protesters (more on that later).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Chucky, have you ever been to Korea?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This is good, these people are to be applauded. Wonderful people. This is good news.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wanna see these stupid racist Japanese yakuza scum right wing dorks go OUT of Japan and try their BS! Try it in LA, try it in next door Seoul etc..hahahaha! They would not come out alive, just imagine these racist Japanese in black vans in Hawaii etc..love to see some friend local Samoans go bezerk with these racist fools!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

NHK World Channel showed demo video in my area. Still discriminating Korean people in Japan? Dr. King changed American people's mentality years ago. People are people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's interesting... because there are some "yakuza" and "right-wing" types who are yelling at these anti-Korean/Chinese protesters. I'm sure, that there is actually an ex-yakuza who speaks out against "hate speech" because he has "Zainichi Korean friends". If it seems contradictory, then it is. There are some pretty hardcore "right-wing" types who worship the emperor, etc, and seem nationalistic, yet they are against "hate speech" against Koreans. Some are even borderline racist or supremacist. Yet they are against this. To them, these anti-Korean protesters have crossed the line.

There has even been a plan to start a similar anti-racism march in Seoul, proposed by some Zainichi Koreans.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It doesn't help with the rise of the Right Wing in Japan, in particular leaders like the Mayor of Tokyo. Of course Japan isn't alone, the global rise of the Right is a disturbing trend.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No chucky... you have no idea what you're talking about. They are mostly Japanese, not that it matters.

Eiji Takano, I'm just going by what I read from 2ch forums. They said that most of the anti-hate protestors are Zainichi disguised as Japanese, and that they are not real Japanese.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Eiji Takano, I'm just going by what I read from 2ch forums. They said that most of the anti-hate protestors are Zainichi disguised as Japanese, and that they are not real Japanese.

That's absolutely hilarious.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Eiji Takahashi: Which yakuza group members? Did you ask them which organization they belong? Which right wing organization members?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

taiko666Sep. 23, 2013 - 06:17PM JST

So, the protesters protest the protests of the protesters' protests.

Americans, in their zeal to banish prepositions from the English language, have completely mangled the verb "to protest."

I gave some thought to your post and I've come to the conclusion that you are mistaken. All that has happened is that the "against" has been dropped as it is implied. It is no longer necessary to say that one is protesting against XYZ, but rather that the act of stating or proclaiming a position is almost invariable in opposition to another position, and as such it is commonly dropped as both obvious and unnecessary.

I fail to see how this is a mangling of the language in any way, but rather is consistent with existing and past usage in both American and British English. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" - Shakespeare, Hamlet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Eiji Takano, I'm just going by what I read from 2ch forums. They said that most of the anti-hate protestors are Zainichi disguised as Japanese, and that they are not real Japanese.

Well why would go by what you read on 2ch forums... they are clearly nuts. They're trying to paint this confrontation as "Patriotic right-wing Japanese vs. anti-Japanese (Zainichi) Koreans/left-wingers", which is NOT what it's about. There are people on the right, people on the left, Japanese, Zainichi Koreans, all sorts of people.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Zainichi disguised as Japanese? 'Disguised'? That one flew right past my bat.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well why would go by what you read on 2ch forums...

Because they are by far, the largest Japanese portal out there, with millions of new postings everyday. What portal do you suggest I go then, to get a gauge on what is the opinion of majority of Japanese on this issue?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Demonstrators marched around Shinjuku Station holding placards reading “Let’s get along,”

lol, like thats going to change anyone's mind. haters hate end of story.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Because they are by far, the largest Japanese portal out there, with millions of new postings everyday. What portal do you suggest I go then, to get a gauge on what is the opinion of majority of Japanese on this issue?

Ok, so the majority of the people there are saying the things that you've said? You're likely only focusing on a very small section of 2chan. Plus it's an anonymous forum, so it's not very reliable.

I'm not exactly sure what the opinion of the majority of the Japanese IS. Try Twitter. I don't know.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

innitSep. 23, 2013 - 09:35PM JST wrote Chucky, have you ever been to Korea?

- Since this is Japan Today,, Chucky or anyone who never went to Korea can contribute their opinions.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

taiko666 is right.

to protest against something (to express an objection) is not the same in meaning as to protest something (to state firmly and emphatically), and hearing/seeing people pile wanton abuse on English prepositions is like listening to fingernails being scratched down a blackboard.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Beautiful. Hope Japan and SK can just get along and figure out that the future is what you make it. It would be beautiful to see.

To an extent though many Koreans in Japan are really Japanese of Korean descent. That whole thing has to be figured out. There's a larger issue of identity that as a Canadian of multiple descents I wish Japan would embrace and truly see the opportunities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would be nice to see South Koreans demonstrating against the Anti-Japan Hate demonstrations there as well.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Small group of Korean elders protesting in Japanese embassy, the Japanese government's stupid comments barking up old wounds, is not the same as Japanese who are race haters marching in the middle of the town, shouting "kill the cckraches". One is a political protest, while the other is simply a hate march.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Koreans will never march against their own anti-japanese movement.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What's sad is that the entire nation isn't telling these crazies to shut up. What other modern civilized country do you know where's it's socially acceptable to publicly scream into a bullhorn to kill ethnic minorities? Japan has a lot of catching up to do.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Who decides what is appropriate, and what is not? Attacking freedoms is never the right way to go. If people are abusing their right to speak, the proper response is to either ignore them, or challenge them on their "facts". If too many are doing the former only, then we need to encourage them to speak up and challenge the speakers, not muzzle the speakers.You cannot fight hateful speech by outlawing it. All you do is drive it underground where it can grow unchallenged. The hate is still there, you just tossed a blanket over it so you didn't have to look at it anymore.

If hate is there, we need to hear it, think on it, try to figure out why people hate. Not slap a piece of duct tape over their mouths and try to pretend it isn't there. Or pretend that some dumb law has made our world 'nicer' by eliminating thoughts or words we'd prefer not to hear.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes and no, sfjp330. They have the right to freedom of speech. But it goes over the line when they call for the massacre and killings of ethnic minorities.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Good grief. No one claiming that hate speech should be illegal. But this level of hate speech in a public arena where Japanese crazies are shouting on bullhorns to kill Koreans should be condemned publicly and loudly rather. Instead the hatemongers are given silent consent by the Japanese society. The fact that 2,000 protested these hatemongers is a boon to Japanese society and national pride.

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

melonbarmonsterSep. 24, 2013 - 03:03AM JST What's sad is that the entire nation isn't telling these crazies to shut up. What other modern civilized country do you >know where's it's socially acceptable to publicly scream into a bullhorn to kill ethnic minorities? Japan has a lot of >catching up to do.

I trust you are excluding South Korea and China from "modern civilized countries".

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Zainichi disguised as Japanese? 'Disguised'? That one flew right past my bat.

Yes, the zainichi have a particularly cunning disguise. This includes being fluent in Japanese, living their entire lives in Japane, appearing Japanese, and being direct descendants of Japanese citizens (as all Koreans once were).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't know about Hawaii but US Immigration Office do not have question like If you are racist or yakuza. Tourists show your tourist visas and students who will attend Univ in USA show your student visas from your country such as Japan. Green cards are given to legal immigrants. Your home countries will not issue visas to people with criminal records.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Koreans will never march against their own anti-japanese movement.

But Koreans don't march and harass Japanese people living in Korea or Japanese visitors.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

/The Shinjuku march I viewed had banners for equal treatments. I did not see anti Japan banners.Nice band with cute people. Some young people spoke on interview, They wanted equal treatment. No Japan hatred comments.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But Koreans don't march and harass Japanese people living in Korea or Japanese visitors.

I think that perception is due to the Japanese getting wrong information from their media and blogs which have been drumming up false stores of "Japanese hunting" (where Koreans are supposedly on the streets hunting down Japanese people to beat up, lynch, kill, etc), and other false stories to peddle the ideal that South Korea is dangerous to Japanese and other foreigners because of violent racism and heavy violent crimes. Of course, they're all lies, but many Japanese believe them because it's been spread online.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Though, it seems to me the number of Japanese making hateful speeches is way, way less than in South Korea, where they tell children to draw pictures of Japan in flames, a funeral where everyone in Japan has died, etc.

But I agree. The two countries need to learn to live together. They're much better off joining forces against certain other countries whose name starts with "c" and rhymes with, er, angina.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Though, it seems to me the number of Japanese making hateful speeches is way, way less than in South Korea, where they tell children to draw pictures of Japan in flames, a funeral where everyone in Japan has died, etc.

It's happened in ONE school. A nutjob of a teacher, in the same category as teachers who molest their students etc.

Every time somebody claims this is widespread practice, their source of information is that same youtube video. Surely there would be more than that one video, if this is a regular occurrence?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I've been through Korean education system, and I can categorically say that I was never taught in school to draw pictures about Japanese in flames and wishing them death. What Mitch Cohen says happened in one school in 2005, by a teacher who belonged to the runaway leftist Korean Teacher's Union who also tend to teach that South Korea is the enemy. Classrooms with these kinds of ideological teachers exist in South Korea, but by no means are they the majority.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Bet there was plenty of Speech "hating" those who use "hate" speech about people that the protestors support

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You CAN outlaw hate speech, and in fact it's illegal in many countries, mostly in Europe and Canada. The whole point of this "Tokyo march" was to propose anti-hate speech legislation and to have the Japanese government "properly carry out the tasks of International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination".

This movement is still very small and very new, but I'm sure that it'll get bigger over time.

This is their website, although I guess everything is still in Japanese:

http://antiracism.jp

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I've been through Korean education system, and I can categorically say that I was never taught in school to draw pictures about Japanese in flames and wishing them death.

Ditto.

No systematic anti-Japan bias at my school (Kyungsang province), where I completed 6 years of elementary schooling.

Difference to Japan's system was that we were taught history in detail, with end of term examinations focusing on memorising names and dates of significant events. There was perhaps special focus on the Korean resistance against Japanese rule, namely the March 1st movement etc.

Overall, there was no real anti-Japan feelings, perhaps due to the fact that after school we would all rush home to play our Super Mario on Nintendos, we lived and breathed Japanese manga like Dragonball and Slam Dunk, and Japan was adored as the birthplace of everything that made life worth living for a elementary school aged Korean children.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Zainichi are not Korean, they are Japanese people with Korean ethnicity. It shows how far behind Japan really is that these people are still considered Korean, even though they were born and raised in Japan. It is no doubt a scar on Japan's conscience that they are still discriminated against at an institutional level. And yes I know they can take Japanese citizenship if they want to but why should they have to choose. The fact that the Japanese government doesn't allow for dual citizenship is narrow minded. The treatment of Japanese of Korean ethnicity is a human rights issue and it seems because of their money Japan has got a free pass on too many things for too long. My feeling is though that the chickens are coming home to roost.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zainichi are not Korean, they are Japanese people with Korean ethnicity.

No, they're Koreans born and raised here. And a lot of them would be very annoyed to hear you tell them that they're not Koreans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Mitch Cohen:

Read some of the follow up responses to this post: http://www.debito.org/?p=11671

I have worked with some zainichi Japanese, and they were more difficult to work with than even the most xenophobic Japanese I have ever met. With the exception to their name, I couldnt even tell they werent Japanese until a Japanese informed me with the all too familiar "hes not Japanese!' Perhaps yelling from a van is a way for these zainichi to feel belonged in a world they cant change or leave. Wasnt there Korean mercs who were enlisted by the Japanese army? I read some were eager to kill POWs in order to feel accepted by the Japanese. You can see this behavior in the gaijin community sometimes; perhaps we have all acted this way once or twice in order to survive here, but there are some who take it too far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No, they're Koreans born and raised here. And a lot of them would be very annoyed to hear you tell them that they're not Koreans.

Who have none of the rights of other people who are born here. A person born in the UK with Indian or Pakistani ethnicity is British, a french person of Moroccan or Algerian ethnicity is French, a dutch person whose parents or grand parents originally came from Surinam is Dutch. I could go on but I think you get my point. The fact that they are not considered Japanese and don't enjoy the same rights as Japanese people really shows how narrow minded the thinking is. They were born here and have lived nowhere else, that I think makes them Japanese. Japanese is not a race it is a nationality, the fact that people say there is racism against these people is just plain stupid, they are the same race.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Eiji Takano

Thanks for that link. I must say its very refreshing, almost shocking, to see Japanese speaking out against racist Japanese. In all my days in Japan, I have never seen this. If anything, I have seen japanese smirk, chide along or plain indifference to anything racist in Japan. I have seen many swell with pride when making comments about Koreans, Chinese or Burakumin peoples. I disagree with anyone who says this is due to some stockholm syndrome having been colonized by the U.S., these racist attitudes were present long before the war. Perhaps it could be argued that the colonization has provided an atmosphere of apathy and indifference to it, but it was there before. I think what is happening is that these net freaks are becoming so well known that people are taking notice and are ashamed. It could also be the recent stupidity from Aso, Hashimoto and the prolonged campaign of ignorance by ishihara as well that has got people stirred. Whatever it is, I hope there is more of it. As we have seen from lessons in America, racism breeds poverty and self destruction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

. And yes I know they can take Japanese citizenship if they want to but why should they have to choose. The fact that the Japanese government doesn't allow for dual citizenship is narrow minded.

Korea had similar laws until 2011, so even if the Japanese had allowed dual nationality, it would have meant renouncing Korean citizenship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Korea had similar laws until 2011, so even if the Japanese had allowed dual nationality, it would have meant renouncing Korean citizenship.

So, just because the other guy is as bad as me it doesn't make me less bad. Plenty of people keep their dual citizenship as secret from the narrow minded party that doesn't allow it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

pochan

Zainichi are not Korean, they are Japanese people with Korean ethnicity. It shows how far behind Japan really is that these people are still considered Korean, even though they were born and raised in Japan. It is no doubt a scar on Japan's conscience that they are still discriminated against at an institutional level. And yes I know they can take Japanese citizenship if they want to but why should they have to choose. The fact that the Japanese government doesn't allow for dual citizenship is narrow minded. The treatment of Japanese of Korean ethnicity is a human rights issue and it seems because of their money Japan has got a free pass on too many things for too long. My feeling is though that the chickens are coming home to roost.

Well it's a bit more complicated than that, due to its somewhat complex history. There are still some Zainichi Koreans who do NOT want to become "Japanese", they want to "proudly" remain "Korean" and criticizes becoming Japanese as "assimilationist" and "forcing Japanese nationality onto them" (this is somewhat understandable due to its colonial history, but the whole idea is out-dated and impractical). Then there are some other Zainichis who tell those Zainichis to get over it and become "Korean Japanese". Then there are others who feel that they are neither fully Korean nor Japanese, but "Zainichi", etc, etc.

To be sure, the Japanese government/society rejected Zainichi Koreans, and in return, the Zainichi Koreans rejected Japan.

Who have none of the rights of other people who are born here.

Zainichi Koreans now have "Special Permanent Resident" status, which means that they pretty much have the same rights as perm residents and Japanese nationals except that they can't vote. I say that Zainichi Koreans should be given Japanese citizenship, but then there will be some Zainichis who criticize the move as being "assimilationist" and "forcing".

Mike45

Thanks for that link. I must say its very refreshing, almost shocking, to see Japanese speaking out against racist Japanese. In all my days in Japan, I have never seen this. If anything, I have seen japanese smirk, chide along or plain indifference to anything racist in Japan.

I think that they could no longer ignore the extremity of the Net Right anymore, chanting to murder the Koreans, etc, so they have taken their step and decided to do something about it. These Net Rights (particularly the Zaitokukai) have been wrecking havoc for some time now.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Zainichi Koreans now have "Special Permanent Resident" status, which means that they pretty much have the same rights as perm residents and Japanese nationals except that they can't vote.

And there is the problem. The fact that they can't vote is a pretty serious human rights issue and international pressure should be put on Japan to change this. On issues like this Japan has got a free pass for too long. They are born and raised in Japan they are Japanese, it is not more complicated than that. Are we holding Japan to different standards of human rights than the rest of the world? Whether they choose to call themselves Japanese or not is irrelevant, they are Japanese. Would it be OK to deny the same right to people born in Britain of South Asian origin? The hypocrisy is astonishing, Japan is either part of the international community or not.

Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, due to its somewhat complex history.

All history which includes colonization is complex. Japan needs to get rid of this deep institutional discrimination. They can't operate a voting apartheid system against people who are born and raised here and also say that they abide by international standards of rights.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And there is the problem. The fact that they can't vote is a pretty serious human rights issue and international pressure should be put on Japan to change this. On issues like this Japan has got a free pass for too long. They are born and raised in Japan they are Japanese, it is not more complicated than that. Are we holding Japan to different standards of human rights than the rest of the world? Whether they choose to call themselves Japanese or not is irrelevant, they are Japanese. Would it be OK to deny the same right to people born in Britain of South Asian origin? The hypocrisy is astonishing, Japan is either part of the international community or not.

You have to be a Japanese citizen in order to vote, it's in the constitution. The real solution to this is to give them Japanese citizenship. But then there are people who will complain that is "assimilationist". Actually I've spoken to some of them, and they don't even care, they don't WANT to vote, they don't think that it matters and they'd rather remain "Korean", anyway, being involved in either North or South Korea, even though they have settled in Japan.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is uncomfortable to be a gaijn in Japan, no arguement from me on that one, but to be a zainichi, I cant even imagine it. I never understood why the Korean American CNN reporter who was posted in Japan for some time never did a report on it.To live in a country where you are stateless and not even wanted; thats just weird. Contrast that to the U.S. They latter gave the Indians their own land and allowed them to govern themselves.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I do see your point Eiji. I feel I am being an idealist and you are telling the situation how it really is. I do believe this situation is to the detriment of Japan though and needs to change.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well if you are interested in Zainichi, then you should definitely read prof. John Lie's book "Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity". It's an excellent book, and you can read it free here:

http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/7qr1c5x7

I guess this is the shorter version:

http://japanfocus.org/-John-Lie/2939

He is a Korean American, born in Korea and raised in both Japan and Hawaii.

He makes some interesting points. He says that they have been some severe discrimination in the past, but now it's slowly getting better. He now argues that whether the Zainichi Koreans are actually more discriminated against than say, the Korean Americans. Ironically the employment discrimination of Zainichi has made some of the Zainichi into successful singers and entertainers and rich entrepreneurs. Something like 11 of the 20 richest people in Japan are Zainichi.

He then argues whether any Korean Americans can name any famous Korean American business owners or successful Korean entertainers and celebrities, while most Zainichi can name people like Son Masayoshi (the CEO of SoftBank) instantly.

Then he argues that there are Zainichi who are now the professors of prestigious universities, such as the Tokyo University, and there are many successful Zainichi writers who are widely read by the Japanese. While in the US, it's still rare for a minority to become top professors.

Many people in Japan now eats kimchi, watch K-dramas and listen to K-pop, while such things are considered in the extreme niche in the US. Physically, he argues that there may be more threats against Asians in the US than the Zainichi in Japan.

He argues, that the Zainichi, being almost physically indistinguishable from the average Japanese, have allowed them to blend in and become "invisible" in the society unlike people of other races.

Of course, none of this excuses or eases the discrimination that the Zainichi still faces in Japan. But he always takes the middle ground and a more calm and balanced approach: Zainichi don't have it as bad, or as good, as some of the people make it out to be.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@pochan

I'm not knocking you, but you don't seem to get the point that a lot of the Zainichi don't want to be considered Japanese. It’ s not a question of being denied that right.They are proud to be Korean, and the inconvenience of not being able to vote doesn't outweigh that pride.

And good luck to them, I say....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think its a mute point that few korean immigrants have become celebs or rich in the U.S. Many African Americans have, so he is saying there isnt discrimination towards African Americans but there is towards Koreans? Koreans have done the same thing in the U.S. as they have done in Japan, been successful in business.

There are also few Japanese who have become celebs in the U.S., probably fewer than Koreans. i think if dude traded places with a zainicihi in Japan, no matter how successful they are, he would be singing a different tune about the U.S. People tend to be most comfortable around those who are like themselves. I personally dont want to live in Korean town in L.A., but that doesnt mean I am a racist. There are many racist things said about Koreans and Asians in the U.S. but the law allows them to work anywhere they want and work in the government. Compare Korea town to Shin Okubou; there are vast differences.

The enviroment in Japan pushes many gaijin to become successful and think outside of the box. It has nothing to do with opportunity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not knocking you, but you don't seem to get the point that a lot of the Zainichi don't want to be considered Japanese.

I do get the point but in my opinion that is not the issue. I think we are holding Japan to different standards here. Regardless of whether or not they consider themselves to be Japanese they should be legally Japanese. As an example a Korean person born and raised in the US will be considered American regardless of whether they think they are American, Korean, both or neither. A country can be both a nationality, a culture or neither or let's say a person can be Japanese without being Japanese. It is this sort of thinking which deep down shows that what ever lip service Japan gives it is light years away from being a truly internationlized society. Japanese is not a race it is a nationality.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Korea had similar laws until 2011, so even if the Japanese had allowed dual nationality, it would have meant renouncing Korean citizenship.

South Korea has dual citizenship. But most Zainichi are loyal to North Korea, and they want to keep their identity. The Zainichi who were South Koreans have been rapidly shrinking in number as they took up Japanese citizenship and intermarried with Japanese and melting into the general population. But the Zaikokukai and others still see them as Koreans disguised as Japanese, and not real Japanese. Case in point is the recent case of a Japanese woman who had one of her grandparents who was an ethnic Korean. She sued a Japanese man whom she was engaged to, because the Japanese man broke off the engagement due to her being an one quarter Korean. It is up to Japanese people to decide what is Japanese or what is not. But I think what the Zainichi and others are asking for are very simple. They want the hate marches through Tokyo and Osaka to stop, and the harassments on the streets and even in schools to stop. They just want to be left alone. That is all.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@pochan

Are you saying that you think it's okay to impose nationality on a group of people, whether or not they want that nationality? Like China did to the Tibetans?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm not saying that at all and I think you know I am not saying that. Good night

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The problem is not simple hate speech but harassment of Korean residents in Okubo by Japanese thugs. There are laws against harassment and they should be enforced in this case. There is one way you can help these Korean residents. Patronize their businesses, which have been hurt by the bigots' harassment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@pochan

Whether they choose to call themselves Japanese or not is irrelevant, they are Japanese.

Call me a traditionalist and I'm not familiar with the exact letter of the law in all this, but I'll say the minimum requirement for being (nationality) is that they are even willing to call themselves (nationality).

While at this point I have every sympathy for any Zainichi who made an application for naturalization and was illegitimately rejected, for those who say "I'm not going to even try but I wanna vote", I can only have contempt for them. I believe in cake and eating it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

lucabrasi

I'm not knocking you, but you don't seem to get the point that a lot of the Zainichi don't want to be considered Japanese. It’ s not a question of being denied that right.They are proud to be Korean, and the inconvenience of not being able to vote doesn't outweigh that pride.

No... you only read what I wrote. I'd have to admit that the issue is a little complicated. My whole point is this... there is a such thing as being Korean Japanese. Being Japanese is only a legal nationality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@pochan

Do you really not recognise the totalitarianism implied in your post?

"Regardless of whether or not they consider themselves to be Japanese they should be legally Japanese."

Really? They should be designated as Japanese by law, even when they don't want it? That is fascism.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How many people are shouting hatred? Are they mainly older, bitter people? Will their racism die with them or are they propagating their evil to younger generations?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you deliberately misunderstanding me? How is giving people born in Japan with Korean ethnicity equal rights totalitarianism? And how can you think that the situation between Tibet and Zainichi Koreans is in anyway similar? In fact it is almost the entirely opposite. If you read my posts I am not in anyway talking about their right to identify themselves with any culture they choose but their right to live in the country they (and in many cases parents and grandparents) were born with equal rights as a citizen. Can you not see that there is a difference between nationality, culture, ethnicity and race? This is the crux of the problem in East Asia that governments and societies still behave as all of the above are the same. Being denied the same rights as the citizen, in the case of these people is a human rights issue and one that Japan should be held to task for. And in my opinion these people are Japanese in the same sense that a a person of Pakistani origin who was born and brought up in the UK is British. Whether or not they choose to identify with themselves as belonging to the country they live in or have ancestral connections with is not my business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@pochan

I see what you're saying more clearly now, and I more or less agree with what you're saying with regard to rights, but I'm still against the idea of forcing a particular nationality on people.

Imagine if Japan ever entered armed conflict with either of the Koreas and people were drafted into the army. If Zainichi were all designated as "Japanese" at birth as you seem to wish, then they too would be in danger of being called up to fight against those whom they may well regard as their "own people".

Indeed, I know for a fact that one of the posters on this site, an Australian who happened to be born in Brazil and lived there for the first few days of his life, is now officially a "deserter" in that country, because he didn't register for military service when he turned eighteen. He'd be arrested at the airport if he ever went there, which is ridiculous.

So rights, yes, nationality, no.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If Zainichi were all designated as "Japanese" at birth as you seem to wish, then they too would be in danger of being called up to fight against those whom they may well regard as their "own people".

I guess this idea is still kind of controversial, but equally ridiculous and out-dated. What does "own people" exactly mean? The people who are related by "blood"? What do the Zainichi and North Koreans actually have anything in common, other than maybe speaking the same language? Just because they are somewhat related by blood, they are the same? (No...) IF Japan (and maybe South) and North ever does go to war, then it has to do with ideological or political differences, NOT because the people look the same or different.

So I believe that idea is a kind of ethnocentrism or racism.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

All readers back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the rallies in Shinjuku will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hate people who hate me. Love those who love me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jack Stren I Agree....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hate ass-hat nationalists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate speech....silence is golden.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shocking that there is still such racism between two Asian nations. Here in America we have a large population of both with Korean outnumbering Japanese. However, for the average American it's very hard to almost impossible to tell the two apart. So to hear there is still so much hatred between them is surprising. It's no wonder they express offense when confused one for the other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Shocking that there is still such racism between two Asian nations"

Perhaps to you it is, but for us who live here its business as usual. Whats shocking to me is the huge disconect between what goes on in this region and the rest of the world. When you try and describe it to the uninformed, they either think your crazy or your making it up.

It is my understanding, however, that there is some friction between the Far East Asian races in the U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A quick look at 20th century European history will show you that being neighbours of the same race does nothing to stop mutual hatred.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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