WORLD Tokyo: Word and behavior of discrimination against China recognized as coronavirus hate speech

WORLD

Tokyo: Word and behavior of discrimination against China recognized as coronavirus hate speech

CGTN

21:00, October 16, 2020


Nakamise Alley at Asakusa in Tokyo, Japan, March 20, 2020. (Photo: AP)

On October 13, Tokyo Metropolitan Government recognized hate speech of the June demonstration march held in the city based on the ordinance, saying that there was an unfair discrimination against people from China related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

This is the first time that words and actions related to the new coronavirus have been certified. 

The city recognized hate speech as saying and acting during a demonstration march held in Chiyoda Ward on June 14, where chantings like "new coronavirus, Chinese people who spread Wuhan bacteria, get out now" were heard.  

Based on the opinion of the jury by experts, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has determined that it is an unfairly discriminatory expression activity based on the Human Rights Respect Ordinance to eliminate hate speech.

In the ordinance, the city only publishes the expressions that are said, and does not disclose the name of the organization that made the statement or action.

According to the city, this is the first time that words and actions related to the new coronavirus have been recognized as hate speech based on the city's ordinance.

During the pandemic, some Japanese have taken to social media to call for a travel ban for the Chinese visitors amid worries they'll come to Japan for virus-related treatments. 

Some Japanese netizens have taken out their anger on China, creating hashtags on social media such as "Chinese don't come to Japan," claiming that "Chinese spread the novel coronavirus in Japan" and "buy masks and other medical supplies in stores."

Many Japanese netizens believe it is wrong to say such discriminatory words. In the face of material shortages in Japan, it is the Chinese in Japan who spontaneously gave away masks for free on streets, they said on social media.

According to Chinese groups in Japan, although discriminatory comments can be seen on social media occasionally, discrimination toward Chinese people in Japan is rare. They say they have never been discriminated against or treated unfairly in their daily lives.

A Japanese man told Chinese media Global Times that they do not believe that Chinese in Japan are discriminated against and have also never seen that in real life. 

Since the outbreak, Japan has taken the initiative to donate protective materials to China, which moved all people. It can be said that both the Japanese government and the private sector are fully supporting China's fight against COVID-19, according to the Chinese embassy.

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