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20 prefectural and local assemblies in Japan have urged the Japanese government to make hate speech illegal. Do you think hate speech should be illegal?

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No it should not be illegal for the simple reason that most times it is not hate speech at all but the truth. Beware though if you offend or insult the wrong people. Better to be tactful and diplomatic or just say nothing at all.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

most times it is not hate speech at all but the truth

...that a minority are cockroaches?

1 ( +10 / -9 )

When it incites yes.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Freedom of speech is important. If someone is yelling things and making trouble for everyone then give them a fine or arrest them for disturbing the peace but removing someones to calmly express their opinion, even if it is a hateful opinion is not how a free society works.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This could be the end of free speech.

No speech should be deemed illegal, unless, like sillygirl said, "it incites" panic, like yelling, "FIRE!" in a crowded building.

However, If Japan passed a law on hate speech and made the language really broad, it could breach everyday conversation. Let's think of an example.... "I don't like these government policies" or I don't like Abe." If a policeman heard you, you'd be arrested and subject to whatever consequences thereafter, i.e. fine, jailtime, etc.

Many people should be concerned about this, knowing how quickly the Japanese government passes laws and how people are concerned about Abe using current circumstances to his advantage politically.

The consequences of a bill like this passing could be catastrophic. Sure, hate speech would end (or at least be punished), but it would also halt all meaningful speech: the exchange of ideas and opinions between people who truly care for this country. This is dangerous. This could be the end of free society in Japan.

7 ( +11 / -3 )

I would suggest that it depends on wether the population of a country is intelligent enough to gather information BEFORE deciding on hate speech. Using hate speech always, without exception, shows a lack of that

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Freedom all the way. As long as not insighting violence and illegal activity, freedom all the way.

If people do not have the freedom to express thughts in public, they will do it underground anyway.

Shalom

10 ( +10 / -0 )

H*** no. This is only giving in to China and SK, who have little knowledge of free speech and democracy as it is. Lead by example. The American example in this case.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

With just a straight 'Yes No Maybe' choice I'm going to say no. You should have the right to say whatever you want no matter how loud or offensive or obnoxious it is because at the end of the day something is only conisdered offensive speech when someone or some group is offended and there are too many different value sets to base 'Offensive speech' on.

I'm muslim and you depict the prophet Muhammad in a picture I decided is offensive = hate speech.

I'm straight with traditional ideals about relationships and societal roles and I'm offended by homosexuals and LGBT groups promoting their life = hate speech.

Those are two simple examples on why hate speech laws don't work. If you don't subscribe to the value set needed to be offend you won't be offend, but if you do then what others of done can be considered a crime?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Freedom of speech no longer exists as we used to know it. During GW Bush regime protesters were corralled into "free speech" zones well away from the presidents delicate ears. You can say anything you want provided it does not offend Jews, anyone not coloured white, gays, lesbians, trans-sexuals, obese people, short people, religious nutcases, American "heroes", the Tea party, Fox news, dead Saudi dictators, alcoholics and on the lists goes. You can't even express open views in private emails as they may be held in evidence against you by snooping governments

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

Tough one. It's easy to want to say yes, having good intentions, but there are too many conditions that can be put on this kind of thing that make it very dangerous. Suddenly if you speak out about something that certain politicians don't want to hear, it would be deemed 'hate' by them. I can see, for example, some twisting the logic to say that "claiming Imperial Japanese soldiers forced women into sexual slavery is hateful to the nation" and is thus deemed hate speech, whereas the government would be allowed to say whatever they please about it. Similar dodgy ground with the secrets law. On the other hand, it would be nice if the government and system in general cracked down the idiots in black trucks screaming at school children or around shrines in Kyoto during peak tourist seasons that Koreans are cockroaches and should go home, etc., and this would give them the fuel to do so. But with only a Yes or No choice, I would have to say No at present.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is an obvious difference between freedom of speech, during which you disagree with a country / political group's policies, and hate speech, during which you extend no logical argument or good reason other than to incite the listeners towards bias, bigotry and hatred.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It should be illegal on the street as it interfers with the targeted groups right to go about their day unmolested.

However if someone wishes to draw silly pictures in a magazine, send offensive tweets, run a hate site, even giving a demonstration (as long as its on private property and advance notice is given) it should be allowed as the targeted groups and the general public have ample chances to avoid it.

I consider many posts on this site to be hate speech but nothing is stopping me from turning the computer off.

For balance it would be nice if South Korea passed a law banning their daily anti Japanese demos. But I'm not holding my breath.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Yes, hate speech should be illegal, simply because wishing death and harm on others simply because of a different nationality is the lowest form of human life. With the historical intricacies of Japan also added to this, hate speech has no place in a modern society. I think people here don't realise the definition of what actual hate speech is. And no, it's not the truth at all... When I see "die Korean dogs" being screamed outside the Korean restaurants in Tsuruhashi.... What truth is that showing, the only truth I see is the evil side of humanity.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Anyone voting yes here is living the daily lie and doesn't want to hear anything else than lies because the truth can hurt or it can be against what the yes-voters prefer to want to hear.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If hate speech become illegal, most JT posters, maybe about 90% of them would be arrested.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

20 prefectural and local assemblies in Japan have urged the Japanese government to make hate speech illegal. Do you think hate speech should be illegal?

Who will decide what is hate speech and who will not, that's the real question.

This is just more maneuver anti-free speech brought to you by the Liberals and their friends in the media.

If someone yells fire in a crowded theater that shouldn't be covered under any freedoms. But if some calls murderous religious fanatics, "murderous religious fanatics" that isn't hate speech, that is the truth.

Political correctness is an avenue for criminals to get away with all sorts of crimes. The Cities of Rotterham and Bristol were perfect examples of this. Political correctness allowed the abuse of children and to this day the PC police (the media and Liberal politicians) keep trying to keep what happened quiet and make excuses.

I have no problems with folks who call for the deaths of others because of race, creed, color or religion to be silenced. But, I do have a problem with Far Left or Far Right trying to silence folks from telling the truth!

Freedom of speech is a right that every human being in this world has. The only ones trying to keep folks quiet are the ones committing the crimes!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At the time that I type this there are several more yes votes than there are no votes.

It causes me to want to comment that voting no hate speech should not be illegal does not mean that we like or appreciate hate speech.

I personally voted no because having freedom is more important that not being offended. It would be great if there was no more "hate speech" but it isn't the governments job to stop it, and I imagine if they tried they would do a horrible job.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who decides what is hate speech and what isn't. Thats really the crux of it.

Targeting individual people (opposed to justified commenting on their actions), specific races, gender or sexuality for example in an organised way I agree should probably not be encouraged. However comment, criticisms on other matters such as government, religion or otherwise are part the foundation of free societies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well a good argument against maybe banning hate speech is Of Course The Freedom Of Speech!!;) Non country can stand against the Freedom Of Speech, but they can limit the hate speeches influence on the society, just as Germany have done against the Muslim haters Pegida!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I cannot understand your questions... Who will decide what hate speech is? That is open to debate? Really?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hate speech is defined as 'attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation' and is rightly illegal in most developed countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hate speech is defined as 'attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation' and is rightly illegal in most developed countries.

Exactly. It's not like this is some radical idea that has not been tried, hate speech crimes exist in many first world countries, and there are models to follow.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We hate hate-speech. Is that illegal?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I suppose the old question of who would you trust to make such laws can't be answered. I'm sure this present administration in Japan would have a few eye-opening ideas on what they'd deem 'inappropriate'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And so the attack on the Japan Constitution begins. First give a centimeter, then a meter, then abandon the entire Constitution and empower Emperor Abe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@hello kitty

I can clear that up for you : Hate Speech is that which the ones that have the power to do so, declare to be hate speech. Now, guess who is that in this country? It wilkl be the guy that gave the order to chenge history bookss for japanese pupils. Look at today's article about those "good Japanese" that are suing the Asahi Shimbun, because they feel insulted by the idea that an honorable japanese men could possible have forced women to work as "comfort women". Just to come up with an expression like "comfort women" would actually tell you all you need to know.

Basically about Hate Speech: When two or more idiots get together and scream insults, any normal person would listen.... think about it.... If it is true, stupid, but fine.... if it is obviously a lie, then it tells me something about the ones using this kind of speech. To sacrifice one of the greatest human achievements, free speech, for this would be a crime in itself.... But political correctness in all its mediocracy is at present messing up better democracies than the one they have in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

First, Hate speech should NOT be illegal.

I'm just shocked. So short-sighted. IF anybody hates what you have to say they'll call it "hate speech". Then what will you do? I should have the right to Freedom of Speech!!!!!

Well here you are ready to give it away. It is a double edge sword with no hilt. If you take away the right to say anything that you disagree with then in turn you hurt yourself..

Sorry but it's totally unconstitutional and only serves the ruling party's interest to pass any law like this.

At the end of the day, you'll have the Japan Secrecy Law + Hate Speech Law + the return of the Imperial Family.

Hey you know what! I got a modified Delorean I can sell you right now. Since you are going back in time might as well go back in style.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm just shocked. So short-sighted. IF anybody hates what you have to say they'll call it "hate speech". Then what will you do? I should have the right to Freedom of Speech!!!!!

You do realize that many countries already have laws against hate speech, and there are specific guidelines as to what defines hate speech, right? It's not as if anyone can say 'that's hate speech' and have it defined as such.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Volland Did you even read what I wrote? I gave the internationally accepted definition of hate speech, it is not something that 'the ones that have the power to do so, declare to be hate speech'

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland You do realize that I'm focused on this country which still hasn't made the mistake others have made. You do realize that we all perceive things differently.

You want to support Je suis Charlie? Did you see those cartoons? Pretty hateful stuff there. Oh wait, that's only my perception. It's not hate to you and your favorite party is in control of the government right? This is all rhetorical of course. You don't really have to care about Je suis Charlie.

They did some pretty painful things. Upset a lot of people. Who are those people? Now I remember......poor lost displaced souls who look to their religion for faith while Charlie Hebdo doth mocketh them. Hmmm where are those hate speech laws again? Could you provide me with a list of countries instead of many?

Personally, I like to identify my enemies quickly. Give them the freedom to say whatever they like makes it a bit easier. Sort of like what we are doing right now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You do realize that I'm focused on this country which still hasn't made the mistake others have made.

You are operating under the mistaken assumption that introducing hate speech laws has been a mistake in other countries.

Did you see those cartoons? Pretty hateful stuff there.

Those cartoons would not fall under hate speech laws in any (Western) nation that I know of. As I said, there are rules as to what defines hate speech, it's not just whatever someone doesn't like.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@strangerland

You've said your opinion. I respect that. You seem focused on other countries that have had some success with this proposal but still no proof of what you say or list of countries. You could possibly sway my view if you can show me where it has saved lives or at least a few examples that shed some light on this topic.

I, on the other hand, am reluctant to sacrifice Freedom of Speech in any regard. I'm reluctant to endorse any law that may undermine the Constitution and basic human rights. There are always those in positions of power to abuse such a law.

Furthermore many cases that fall under such a ruling will never see the light of day or the public's eye.

In a nutshell, from what I've read so far, you are strongly optimistic that it will only work for good and our government can be trusted. I don't trust them. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. A foot in the door is usually followed by a kick to the face.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You could possibly sway my view if you can show me where it has saved lives

You could possible sway my view if you could show examples of where hate speech laws haven been abused.

I'm reluctant to endorse any law that may undermine the Constitution and basic human rights.

I on the other hand am willing to endorse a law that will protect basic human rights.

In a nutshell, from what I've read so far, you are strongly optimistic that it will only work for good and our government can be trusted.

No, the law will need oversight. And it may be that once it is proposed I will entirely disagree with the contents of the implementation being proposed. But I'm not willing to shut out the idea entirely just because the potential exists for a bad implementation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If it is clearly / strictly defined then yes, many countries with arguably more robust democracies have such laws...Germany, Australia..etc...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Reckless

In a perverse way I could see that used against me if I use the J## word when they call me gaijin,,,,

How can a word gaijin 外人 be offensive/hate speech to you?

Are those words are offensive to you, too?

a foreign country is gaikoku 外国 a foreign car is gaisha 外車 a foreign affair is gaimu 外務

Every time USCIS or DHS calls me a foreigner or an alien, should I be offended?

And this is a perfect example of why "hate speech law" would not work.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Have a look!!

I looked, and saw someone's opinion, but no examples of how hate speech crimes have been abused.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is an obvious difference between freedom of speech, during which you disagree with a country / political group's policies, and hate speech, during which you extend no logical argument or good reason other than to incite the listeners towards bias, bigotry and hatred.

What's obvious to you is not obvious to me.

By your definition, saying "Nazi's suck" would be hate speech.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even if it were made illegal, I doubt it would be enforced properly; just like 99% of Japanese laws. A meaningless exercise basically.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JWithers, You misunderstand the hate speech issue. It is not the J government nor J public who advocate making hate speech illegal. It is Koreans in Japan who have strong influence in Japan.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@tinawatanabe

I'm not misunderstanding this. I'm focused on the title of this thread and that's it.

I've got no issue with @strangerland either. We're just having a polite debate. I'm quite happy to hear his views. Please don't twist this up. The only difference between us so far is that I've made some effort to do some research and I have yet to see the flip side of this debate.

The link I provided in the previous post is opinion but it's what I agree with. It's put more eloquently than I may have stated.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Freedom of speech is important, even if what is being said is pure drivel. That said, I think there should be some ordinances about loitering or noise violations.

That is to say, if you really think Korean kids are cockroaches...fine...your idiotic belief. But if you stand outside of a school for longer than acceptable times, or make noise that can be heard blocks away, then no, you should be removed for disrupting business/school/etc.

We have plenty of parks, and plenty of avenues to do demonstrations or have rallies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, if simple for the pleasure of seeing the mass of law suits that Japanese government would have to suddenly defend itself against when it produces warning posters with blonde-haired foreign looking people doing bad things, when we all know that the vast majority of offenders are Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If hate speech become illegal, most JT posters, maybe about 90% of them would be arrested. your mistaking hate for criticism. I criticise many things about Japan but that doesnt mean i hate the place or the people. constructive criticism brings about change, mostly for the better. hate speech against people of different race or groups can lead to very dark places. Adolph Hitler is a perfect example

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

your mistaking hate for criticism.

This is a big part of the problem in this thread - a lot of the posters are clueless as to how hate speech is defined.

It's not stating you hate something.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perhaps those who disagree with hate speech being made illegal, agree with what the right-wing groups are saying about the Koreans

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Slippery slope here folks. Next question -- what constitutes hate speech? Simply allows the government to control what can and cannot be said. Hate those black bus idiots spewing hate but they should have the right to do so as long as it's peaceful.

And don't kid yourselves. If hate speech were made illegal here -- the target would not be the right wing but more likely those who use terms like "sex slaves" or speak out against the government. The supposed "misinterpretation" of what hate speech actually is (mentioned above several times) is exactly what makes this so dangerous.

But agreed -- when the speech is meant to incite -- then something different.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

what constitutes hate speech?

Here is an extensive breakdown by country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Considering this law is mostly applicable to black van folks who are screaming on amplified voices to kill Koreans and given the long and horrid history of massacres and oppression across wide spectrum, yes "hate speech" should be made illegal. Japanese shouldn't be waving swatstikas in public for many many reasons either. Japan is the only modern country that still struggles with these types of social ills. It's 2015, not 1935. Enough with the fascist era racism and ideology please.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Judging by the votes censorship is in the near future. Careful what you wish for.........

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So you can be invaded and not say 'no' to the invaders? Lumping all negative speech together is not really very smart. If any invaded country cannot stand up with speech, the speech will turn into guns and warfare, which is much worse. All the prosperous countries are now being invaded because they used birth control and have more discipline which leads to a wealthier country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The term "hate speech" is too broad. I'm less likely to support or oppose such a bill until I see what words, gestures or concepts are being entertained since some laws of this nature are tantamount to "thoughtcrimes" if they are too loose and useless if too tight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, too often freedom of speech has been abused to promote hatred and prejudice and violence. While we must all be free to express our oppinions that does not grant us the right to call on violence and hatred against an entire group.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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