Recent Debates Relating to Hate Speech in Japan


This presentation explains the past and present status of hate speech regulations in Japan. The issue of whether government should regulate hate speech has become a pressing problem in Japan, where the number of xenophobic groups has been increasing rapidly since the early 2000’s. In response to public opinion, the Diet enacted the Hate Speech Elimination Act in 2016, which clearly declares that hate speech is “not allowed”. The law assigns various duties to national and local governments to tackle hate speech, but it does not impose penalties, due to concerns that they might deprive individuals of their right to free speech. This presentation outlines frameworks of the Hate Speech Elimination Act and other laws relating to hate speech and analyzes some of their issues. Shinji Higaki Professor of Law, Fukuoka University.


Dr. Shiji Higaku

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