The netouyo, that tiny but very vocal portion of Japanese netizens that mostly have strong right-wing views, have come out in full support of the Zaitokukai (“Citizens Against Special Privilege of Zainichi”) members who were arrested during a protest on Sunday, June 16. Four members, including their leader Makoto Sakurai, were arrested on suspicion of criminal assault after getting into an altercation with members of another protest group who are opposing their principles.
Many of the comments on the Yahoo Japan page and other message boards that the netouyo frequent claim that the arrests were another way of suppressing their “freedom of speech”. The Zaitokukai hold monthly protests against foreigners in the Shin-Okubo area of Tokyo where there is a large population of Zainichi Koreans living. But most people, particularly the Japanese residents in the area, see their actions as racism and their protests as hate speech. But the netouyo are quick to come to their defense, and instead accuse the media of discrimination since they named the group and the arrested members, but only refer to the other organization as the “opposing group”, even though four of their members were arrested as well.
But some publications have in fact named the other group involved as Reishisuto wo Shibakitai (“Resistance Troops Against Those Who Discriminate”), or more popularly known as the “Shitback Crew“, an anti-racist organization. Reports say that the crew’s leader, Kenji Kubo, plus three group members, were also arrested when the two protests turned violent, with reports of spitting, hitting of umbrellas, and even fist fights.
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