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Japan's 1st bill to punish hate speech submitted in Kawasaki

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The biggest source of discrimination against ethnic minorities in Japan is the government itself and politicians. They are the ones that fan the flames of discrimination against ethnic minorities. Why not make a law against politicians' speech instead.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Step in the wrong direction.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Or does it only apply to non-Japanese countries?

It's a slippery slope.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Good question.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

"discriminatory remarks against a person from a particular country or region ."

Now take a look at this comment:

The biggest source of discrimination against ethnic minorities in Japan is the government itself and politicians.

Under the Kawasaki law this is hate speech.

Should the poster pay the fine?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The anti-hate speech ordinance in Osaka worked, the nationalists have stopped intimidating the Korean consulate so brazenly and AFAIK there aren't as many anti-Korean demos in Tsuruhashi either

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Under the Kawasaki law this is hate speech.

Should the poster pay the fine?

LOL etc. Seeing as it isn't either hate speech or in a park or street in Kawasaki, then the answer is probably 'no'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is designed to stop the rightwing/yakuza folks from attacking Koreans. It is simple human decency and long overdue. Only racist apologists would be against this or attempt to distort it.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

This is designed to stop the rightwing/yakuza folks from attacking Koreans. It is simple human decency and long overdue. Only racist apologists would be against this or attempt to distort it.

When's the last time 'yakuzas' or right-wing groups actually physically attacked an ethnic Korean person in Japan? Last time I checked, a Japanese female vlogger was assaulted by a male in South Korea a few months ago, that was totally ignored by many mainstream media outlets.

And let me get this straight. So according to you, hate speech and right-wing demonstrations should totally be banned in Japan. So how do you in turn feel about how the South Korean government indoctrinates their citizens in anti-Japanese attitudes since an early age? How do you also feel about the South Korean government tolerating and even condoning anti-Japanese speech and protests on the streets by the citizens?

That's what I thought.

And that's not how a true democracy works. Banning speech no matter how hateful or vile, is a slipper slope. In fact allowing freedom of speech is much more powerful because it allows those who oppose those viewpoints to express themselves publicly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fnoWls7Oqw

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This is ridiculous. People shouldn't say mean things, but it's not the government's job to threaten people who do say mean things. The government also shouldn't get to decide what we're allowed to say. We're already seeing in other countries, people being punished simply for saying facts that "hurt people's feelings".

Threats against people should always be taken seriously, but being called mean names should not be a punishable offense.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

In my home country, when hate groups organize publicly to shout and promote their filth, there is always a healthy counter-demonstration right next to them by people promoting tolerance and friendship. I believe that's the way it ought to be, rather than making illegal the words themselves, which as other commenters have pointed out can be a dangerous path to go down.

The problem is, I think that would be difficult to implement here, as the average Japanese citizen seems much less likely to go out in public to support a political or social cause, even if they do agree with it. The other problem is, the average Japanese citizen seems quite ignorant of the racism and discrimination that exists in this country. "Racism? There's no racism problem in Japan." The media is partly to blame for that.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"bans discriminatory remarks against a person from a particular country or region in public spaces such as on the street or in a park."

Something seems to be missing here. Historically, the usual target for racists in Japan has been other Japanese. That's why schools, especially in western Japan, take up the "Dowa Mondai." If you read Japanese, it is not unusual to see racist comments directed at those on the receiving side of the Dowa Mondai, especially in Osaka.

Has Kawasaki forgotten about them?

And do the comments sections of on-line publications constitute a public space? I can think of at least one on-line publication that carries a very large number of "discriminatory remarks against [persons] from a particular country."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is designed to stop the rightwing/yakuza folks from attacking Koreans.

1/3 of rightwing/yakuza are Koreans

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The problem is, I think that would be difficult to implement here, as the average Japanese citizen seems much less likely to go out in public to support a political or social cause, even if they do agree with it. The other problem is, the average Japanese citizen seems quite ignorant of the racism and discrimination that exists in this country. "Racism? There's no racism problem in Japan." The media is partly to blame for that.

Once again, a statement and belief that is proven false by a simple online search. I even posted a link to a video above showing Japanese citizens marching in counter protest against right wingers in Japan. Japanese citizens are more than willing to be vocal and publicly march against issues they feel passionate about, including Abe and other political issues.

I don't understand why people keep repeating this falsehood about Japanese, when it's been proven baseless time and time again.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@WobotToday 09:01 am JST

Maybe that's true, but whether the price of lost free speech is at all worth it is questionable. And you have to consider that it gives the opposition one (or one more) solid reason to hate the Koreans (even if they are forbidden from saying it out loud), who are now getting protection at their expense.

The perception (real or not) that Koreans have special rights or protections at Japanese expense is AFAIK the prime justification for those vans. You don't have to guarantee the perception is real.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe that's true, but whether the price of lost free speech is at all worth it is questionable. And you have to consider that it gives the opposition one (or one more) solid reason to hate the Koreans (even if they are forbidden from saying it out loud), who are now getting protection at their expense.

The Korean consulate is 'fair game' for political protest but the ethnic Koreans (在日) in Tsuruhashi (and everywhere in the country) need to be left alone. They're still seen only as 'Korean' to ethnonationalists even when they are citizens of Japan. Hate directed at them is indefensible!

If you have a free-for-all on racist speech you end up with this:

https://youtu.be/7u3Nr8xyfkk

https://youtu.be/GoTBRpcaZS0

Imagine how the targets felt! Racism and discrimination based on ethnicity in any form must be opposed.

Do you think those videos represent acceptable behaviour...?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ethnic Koreans (在日) in Tsuruhashi (and everywhere in the country) need to be left alone. They're still seen only as 'Korean' to ethnonationalists even when they are citizens of Japan.

AFAIK, the very point of the Zainichi is that they are not citizens of Japan. They are residents - many multigenerational, but still residents. In fact, a point about them is if they really want to stay in Japan and have voting rights, they can always naturalize to become citizens - they will then have no more and no less (at least in theory) as other Japanese.

They start whining about how hard it is, but no system can help you if you won't even submit the forms.

The targets might have felt sucky, but they can't be as suck or hurt as anybody that was actually harmed by deprival of money or freedom.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

AFAIK, the very point of the Zainichi is that they are not citizens of Japan.

AFAIK = I do not know for sure. Actually several cities in Japan classify non-和人, their descendants and even 和人 who have some sort of 'foreign background' as '外国人' certain official purposes. Read the comments of this page too as well as the article itself: http://www.debito.org/?p=15820

a point about them is if they really want to stay in Japan and have voting rights, they can always naturalize to become citizens

This isn't even the topic of conversation, it's about racism; becoming a citizen of Japan doesn't change your race or ethnicity. Some people in Japan are ethnically Korean, and some of them are Japanese citizens and some of them are not. None of them deserve any racism, yet I'm sure the people in the videos I posted don't go and ask which country's passports a Korean has got to make sure they're being 'political' instead. Without that distinction it's all-encompassing racism...

They start whining about how hard it is, but no system can help you if you won't even submit the forms.

> The targets might have felt sucky, but they can't be as suck or hurt as anybody that was actually harmed by deprival of money or freedom.

You're just being an apologist for racism here whether that's what you intended or not. You're saying that people who have lived in Japan their whole lives but happen to have grandparents from Korea, possibly brought over as slaves, deserve to be shouted at... because they don't want to be part of a country that's full of people who think they deserve it just for that fact?

Maybe you don't think you're racist (I hope for that, at least) but please, please, please think more carefully about this subject. There has to be clear distinctions and rules agreed so people can not only express themselves but also live a good life in peace if they follow the rules themselves regardless of their background. That is a true Liberal democracy and Japan unfortunately falls short in many areas, though things can be changed for the better.

One thing that needs to change is the conflation of ethnicity with nationality. For example, Okinawans are no less Japanese than 和人 but they are also regarded as 'not Japanese' based on certain definitions of the term. 'Japan' and 'Japanese' need to be redefined in English at least to acknowledge the equality afforded to citizens

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I do not know for sure. Actually several cities in Japan classify non-和人, their descendants and even 和人 who have some sort of 'foreign background' as '外国人' certain official purposes. Read the comments of this page too as well as the article itself: http://www.debito.org/?p=15820

I read the article. Then I searched in Japanese to see how the term cited in his text 外国人市民 is used. When I searched on 外国人市民 名古屋, all the hits were for programs to help people with "foreign roots" adapt to life in Nagoya or seeking participants for committees looking into the problems people with "foreign roots" have in Nagoya.

Search for yourself to verify what I have said.

As for naturalized Japanese being treated as foreign by muncipalities or government agencies, that has not been my experience. (I naturalized in 2014.) I have received any and all entitlements due Japanese citizens and when I naturalized I was told without asking that not only could I now vote but I could also run for public office if I so wished.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Page 325: http://www.city.nagoya.jp/somu/cmsfiles/contents/0000104/104297/keikaku5-5.pdf

外国 市 民:名古屋市内に住所を有する外国籍の人のほか、日本国籍を取得した人や国際結婚によって生まれた子どもなど外国の文化を背景に持つ人など、外国にルーツを持つ人

Well, I just searched using the link provided and the document explicitly groups naturalised Japanese citizens in with '外国市民’ as well as their children who could have born and raised in Japan. You can never become 'Japanese' to some people and you are technically supposed to be entitled to the same rights as a citizen but it still requires people to grant you them or it's just notional. Those racists in the videos could use the same justification, once 外人 always 外人 to them and they can show government-approved documents as proof!

I said English needs to distinguish between the citizens of the country and their ethinicity but the government of Japan and its citizens needs to do. That would resolve a lot of problems related to this

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

oldman_13: Once again, a statement and belief that is proven false by a simple online search. I even posted a link to a video above showing Japanese citizens marching in counter protest against right wingers in Japan. Japanese citizens are more than willing to be vocal and publicly march against issues they feel passionate about, including Abe and other political issues.

I don't understand why people keep repeating this falsehood about Japanese, when it's been proven baseless time and time again.

A simple online search proves that year after year, Japan ranks among the lowest modernized nations in terms of voter turn out. This site has Japan 4th-worst among 35 nations, in terms of registered voter %: http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/voter-turnout-by-country. The Japanese cannot be bothered to go vote for their own leaders, and the issues and laws that are represented by those leaders. So, am I supposed to believe that those same Japanese people feel passionately enough about the issues to go to the streets to protest and scream and carry signs? I think that would require a vivid imagination.

I'm glad you found one video of one protest. We can find some others, for sure. I've seen some myself. Most are attended by a few dozen people, the majority of them retired folks, to protest nuclear power or the State Secrets Act from a few years back. But do you have any clips of the Japanese people REALLY making a difference with their protest? Thousands marching through the streets, making demands that cannot be ignored? No. Not for many decades.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Are you one of those that would use a slur against a person of colour and claim freedom of expression? Asking for a friend.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I'm glad you found one video of one protest. We can find some others, for sure. I've seen some myself. Most are attended by a few dozen people, the majority of them retired folks, to protest nuclear power or the State Secrets Act from a few years back. But do you have any clips of the Japanese people REALLY making a difference with their protest? Thousands marching through the streets, making demands that cannot be ignored? No. Not for many decades.

Cherry picking details, as per usual here. Most protests don't make any differences, and that includes my country which has protests and marches all the time. The fact remains you and your ilk on here continue to claim that most or all Japanese are apathetic and apolitical, and afraid to say or do anything in public lest they go against the grain. And once evidence is presented that clearly refutes your claim (the video link I posted shows more than a dozen, non-elderly Japanese citizens passionately protesting against the right wingers), as expected you dismiss it in order to cover yourself. "Japanese do not protest" then becomes "Japanese do not protest in excess of 100,000 people so it's meaningless." The same tactic people use to dismiss Japan's many apologies and compensation for its past misdeeds.

It is so utterly predictable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back in my day, we just had a jar that people put money in whenever they said something on the naughty list. Naughty words included the various derogatory ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Got us new snacks for the snack bar every month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's an Idea for the city. Small monetary fines. Then at the end of the month, snacks in city hall.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@oldman_13

The fact remains you and your ilk on here continue to claim that most or all Japanese are apathetic and apolitical, and afraid to say or do anything in public lest they go against the grain.

I hate to tell you this but I also believe most or all Japanese are apathetic and apolitical. How many times were you disappointed when you try to engage political discussions with your Japanese friends? When was your time to realize the political discussion isn’t appropriate topic to talk to someone new? It is not about right or wrong, I just believe that most of Japanese don’t really care about what’s going on outside of isolated small four islands and things that don’t affect their same repeated ordinary daily life. Yes there are occasions to witness some protests here and there, but do you believe they are the majority of Japanese standard or minority or maybe rather extremists?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wobot Today 04:45 pm JST

Thanks for the link. As he sometimes does, I think that Debito and his crowd are too sensitive to internal documents that seem meant primarily for investigation. No one is saying (at least not out loud) that 外国市民 should get fewer rights. It is, however, still true that they are different in terms of thought pattern compared to the average Japanese. Even the kids are likely to be that way because their parents would influence them (and it is obviously impossible to check every kid). Certainly Debito himself is in a poor position to say he thinks and acts like a typical Japanese.

If there is a demographic that's actually distinct but we are not allowed to acknowledge it even in internal investigatory documents, you are degrading the quality of the investigation and demanding lies and distortions be put in the report for political correctness.

Some people in Japan are ethnically Korean, and some of them are Japanese citizens and some of them are not.

Are you sure? First, Koreans and Japanese are physically similar enough that if you are born in Japan, naturalize and you don't insist on proclaiming yourself as a Korean, it'll be hard to even notice. If people even notice, it is probably because you insist on putting on full blaring lights that you are a Korean.

So let's look at the group that are not Japanese citizens. Why are they living their whole lives here, claim they'll never go/return to Korea, but they insist on not naturalizing. Could it be that the critics are right and they are getting a better cut as Zainichi?

If you don't want to be attacked as a demographic, one thing you should try is to get rid of any special privileges you have, because they make for objective aiming points.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No one is saying (at least not out loud) that 外国市民 should get fewer rights.

Prosecutors are taught we have none in the first place:

Hiroshi Ishikawa, a former prosecutor, wrote in detail about the abuse of prosecutorial power and the ability to detain suspects in a book titled “Kenji Shikaku.”

Ishikawa himself had been implicated in a case of false confessions before resigning. He says there’s enormous pressure on police and prosecutors to obtain a guilty verdict by any means.

“I was taught that foreigners and gang members have no human rights,” he once told me. “I was taught that winning is everything. And with the de facto power to detain someone who insists they’re innocent all the way up to their trial, we usually win. However, that doesn’t always mean that justice is served.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/05/national/media-national/international-scrutiny-japans-criminal-justice-system-fair/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In other words, Kawasaki is all bark and no bite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bringing discrimination into the news is good. It opens up a healthy debate and make people think of their words and actions

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is, however, still true that they are different in terms of thought pattern compared to the average Japanese. Even the kids are likely to be that way because their parents would influence them (and it is obviously impossible to check every kid).

I will give you two examples of why the 外国市民 is ridiculous. One is my Japanese-American colleague who came to Japan when he was 18 and is married to an ethnic Japanese woman born in Japan. They have two kids together too. He is indistinguishable from any other Japanese person and you may never know he's actually an American citizen an his kids are also indistinguishable from other Japanese kids. However, because he is 外国市民 under that classification, his kids are therefore 外国市民, and their kids will also be 外国市民, and so on in perpetuity because that is how the system works.

Another, more famous 外国市民: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiko_Mizuhara

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If there is a demographic that's actually distinct but we are not allowed to acknowledge it even in internal investigatory documents, you are degrading the quality of the investigation and demanding lies and distortions be put in the report for political correctness.

Haven't you been paying attention? I am saying there needs to be MORE information, more details to fully describe people's identity. Separating nationality from ethnicity adds another layer to enrich our understanding of people. Thank you for agreeing with me.

Are you sure? First, Koreans and Japanese are physically similar enough that if you are born in Japan, naturalize and you don't insist on proclaiming yourself as a Korean, it'll be hard to even notice. If people even notice, it is probably because you insist on putting on full blaring lights that you are a Korean.

So you're saying they'll be okay if they don't look, act or sound Korean, but if do in any way they deserve shouting at by random people on the street? I'm sorry mate, that's racist policing of people's lives. Like I said, you have to separate nationality from ethnicity. Go ask all the Japanese Americans who got locked up during world war 2 without having done anything, they'll agree with that idea!

So let's look at the group that are not Japanese citizens. Why are they living their whole lives here, claim they'll never go/return to Korea, but they insist on not naturalizing. Could it be that the critics are right and they are getting a better cut as Zainichi?

Japan was the lesser evil compared to north Korea(!) and the south korean (US- and Japan-approved) dictator Park. After so many years, and some being born in Japan so they didn't learn Korean, it takes too much to move back. Anyway, when Japan invaded Korea and brought people over as slaves it kinda took responsibility, you know? Like 'you broke it, you bought it' logic. If you don't like it, curse your own ancestors for creating the situation...

If you don't want to be attacked as a demographic, one thing you should try is to get rid of any special privileges you have, because they make for objective aiming points.

Why don't Japanese people want to renounce their citizenship and voting rights? Great 'privilege'!?!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Wobot Nov. 27 10:36 pm JST

One is my Japanese-American colleague who came to Japan when he was 18 and is married to an ethnic Japanese woman born in Japan. They have two kids together too. He is indistinguishable from any other Japanese person and you may never know he's actually an American citizen an his kids are also indistinguishable from other Japanese kids.

Did you miss the part where I said it is impossible to check every kid? Demographics is about grouping people, and inevitably there will be some outliers.

Besides, while I'll grant that physically they are indistinguishable, what about mentally? Do they have different beliefs and values? Unless the Japanese-American colleague never interacts with their kids or does not bring over any American values with him, which seems unlikely, can you really say that's the case?

Granted, the differences may thin out over further generations, but I'll suspect right now we are mostly talking about first and second generation, and your examples are exactly of such. It is perfectly possible to review nomenclature and delineations when more third and fourth generations come in.

I don't think main point there is nationality or ethnicity, but psychology. Different demographics have different thought patterns and values, thus they have to be cataloged.

Go ask all the Japanese Americans who got locked up during world war 2 without having done anything, they'll agree with that idea!

Let me go out on a limb here. I actually am one of those rarities that are sympathetic to Korematsu. Our negative view is undoubtedly shaded by the results, which might be guessed at but ultimately cannot be known at the time the decisions were made.

It is also shaded by the buffering sense that ultimately America had 10 times the industrial power of Japan, so she'll win even if some Japanese-Americans did turn out to be turncoats. She can afford to take a wait and see attitude.

The American government may indeed have been racist, but it also chose the fail-safe play. Would we say the same if America and Japan were of equal national power, and victory and defeat might indeed turn on the possible presence of one or a few Japanese-American traitors? If the war is indeed lost for not taking the precaution, will we really insist that it was the right choice on Kantian grounds?

Japan was the lesser evil compared to north Korea(!) and the south korean (US- and Japan-approved) dictator Park. 

For one thing, it was Koreans who picked Kim and Park, and who chose to fight each other, thus wrecking much of what the Japanese left over. For another thing, to even HAVE two choices so we can say greater and lesser evil is already a luxury that most people in this world don't have.

After so many years, and some being born in Japan so they didn't learn Korean, it takes too much to move back.

So naturalize, dammit. Nothing of what you said explains why they don't at least try naturalizing. And voting rights when you are a citizen, with no claims to such in another country, are not privileges at all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Did you miss the part where I said it is impossible to check every kid? Demographics is about grouping people, and inevitably there will be some outliers.

The 'outliers' it generates are so numerous and obviously incongruent that it's not fit for purpose!

Besides, while I'll grant that physically they are indistinguishable, what about mentally? Do they have different beliefs and values? Unless the Japanese-American colleague never interacts with their kids or does not bring over any American values with him, which seems unlikely, can you really say that's the case?

That's a very Orwellian approach to policing thought... You're assuming that Americans think one way and Japanese another, so you mean that there is a distinct wajin way of thinking that gaijin cannot comprehend, yet alone think in the same way?

Granted, the differences may thin out over further generations, but I'll suspect right now we are mostly talking about first and second generation, and your examples are exactly of such. It is perfectly possible to review nomenclature and delineations when more third and fourth generations come in.

I don't think main point there is nationality or ethnicity, but psychology. Different demographics have different thought patterns and values, thus they have to be cataloged.

Yes, great, we both agree that Nagoya's definitions are not useful and can be revised to in a more effective way to facilitate local services and so on. However, 'different demographics having their different thought patterns and values' is very essentialist. There is plenty of research showing differences within Japan and overlap with other countries, it's not necessarily as 'fixed' as you think of it. You do realise that you hold typically ethnonationalistic views? This is what concerns people, it creates prejudice and you assume you know people without checking.

Let me go out on a limb here. I actually am one of those rarities that are sympathetic to Korematsu. Our negative view is undoubtedly shaded by the results, which might be guessed at but ultimately cannot be known at the time the decisions were made.

It is also shaded by the buffering sense that ultimately America had 10 times the industrial power of Japan, so she'll win even if some Japanese-Americans did turn out to be turncoats. She can afford to take a wait and see attitude.

The American government may indeed have been racist, but it also chose the fail-safe play. Would we say the same if America and Japan were of equal national power, and victory and defeat might indeed turn on the possible presence of one or a few Japanese-American traitors? If the war is indeed lost for not taking the precaution, will we really insist that it was the right choice on Kantian grounds?

It appears you're trying to persuade here but the roundabout way of doing it obscures the point. Do you think what the Americans did was good, or bad? A direct and explicit answer is necessary before you elaborate.

For one thing, it was Koreans who picked Kim and Park, and who chose to fight each other, thus wrecking much of what the Japanese left over. For another thing, to even HAVE two choices so we can say greater and lesser evil is already a luxury that most people in this world don't have.

You think choosing between two evils is a luxury!? The Japanese didn't have to make such a choice, now that is a luxury.

So naturalize, dammit. Nothing of what you said explains why they don't at least try naturalizing. And voting rights when you are a citizen, with no claims to such in another country, are not privileges at all

It's not my place to explain why they don't naturalise, why don't you ask them? Why do you know so little about them? At least we both agree they don't have any special privileges...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

After so many years, and some being born in Japan so they didn't learn Korean, it takes too much to move back.

Isn't that a fact that ethnic Koreans were given a choice to either stay in Japan or go back to Korea north or south? Isn't that a fact that ethnic Koreans who decided to stay in Japan (including later generations) always have a choice to naturalize? Some being born in Japan so they didn't learn Korean? I highly doubt it. I don't know about Kawasaki but I live nearby Shinjuku where many Zainichi live and I always see Korean youths (most likely 4th or 5th generations) and their family members speaking in Korean language.

Anyway, when Japan invaded Korea and brought people over as slaves it kinda took responsibility, you know? Like 'you broke it, you bought it' logic. If you don't like it, curse your own ancestors for creating the situation...

Oh my, when did Japan invade Korea in the first place?? You are making it sound as if Koreans were taken to Japan by force whilst the historical record indicates Japan was struggling to stop Koreans to smuggle into Japan and even forced to send them back especially toward late 1930s.

https://rnavi.ndl.go.jp/politics/entry/bib00696.php

https://rnavi.ndl.go.jp/politics/entry/bib00103.php

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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