Kunio Suzuki, a member of the far-right organization Issuikai, said that Japan’s police are also responsible for the rise of hate protests against Koreans. He refers particularly to a group called Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai or “citizens’ group that refuses to tolerate special privileges for Korean and Chinese residents of Japan” (Zaitokukai).
He said that if the activities that this group does, including regular protests with hate speech and discriminatory posters, were done in other countries, the police would immediately crackdown on them. But he believes that they are not stopping them because more protests like these means more police presence is necessary. He adds that these groups must be working in coordination with the authorities, since they are able to get permissions for their protests. Suzuki find this “relationship” particularly disturbing. “If that had been me protesting like that, as a member of Issuikai, then I am certain that I would have been arrested,” he shared.
Despite being a member of the right-wing, he thinks that these protestors have gone beyond the right to acceptable free speech. They go around Korean districts in Japan saying “Kill, kill, kill Koreans” and carry placards saying “Good Koreans, bad Koreans, still kill them all”. What’s worse is that the videos that have gone viral on the Internet and are seen by people from around the world may give the international community the impression that the Japanese are extremists and violent racists. “These demonstrators are flying the Japanese flag at these marches. I feel that the ‘Hinomaru‘ flag is crying at being used by these people in this way,” Suzuki adds.
Relations between Japan and South Korea have been strained for generations but things have gotten worse in the past few months due to a territorial spat over the Takeshima/Dokdo islands and several historical disputes including the issue of “comfort women”. These issues were heightened due to recent comments by Osaka Mayor and right-wing politician Toru Hashimoto that the comfort women system was “necessary” for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.
[ via SCMP ]