Despite ongoing issues with South Korea, there are a few young people who are making a stand against those who organize anti-Korean rallies and propagate hate speech about Japan’s neighbours. While these young people started out defending Koreans because of their love for K-pop, they are taking concrete actions to tell others that it’s not okay to hold these anti-Korean demonstrations.
One of these teenagers is a 16-year-old girl from Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. She loves K-pop culture and is a die-hard fan of one Korean singer. Because of her love for the culture, she taught herself the Korean language and has friends from South Korea that she met online. When she found out about the monthly demonstrations in the Shinokubo area in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, which has a large Korean population, she took it upon herself to go there in person, despite objections from her family. She stood in front of the demonstrators and tried to block them from continuing their hate-filled diatribe. The protestors shouted “Go back to Korea!” and just walked past her. The riot police pushed her out of the way so she wouldn’t get hurt, but she was crying out of frustration. But when she found out a few days later that one of the rallies scheduled for the week after was cancelled, she felt that her counter hate speech was not a waste of time.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy from Aichi Prefecture got mixed reactions when he posted a YouTube video about his opinions against those who are inciting these Korean hate rallies. He initially thought of hiding his face because he knew he would get flack, but then decided to be open because he didn’t want to be “sneaky”. The video has so far attracted 12,500 views, and while there were a lot of critical comments about the content of his video, he mostly got supportive ones. He’s also a huge K-pop fan and even showed a letter from a popular group Kara, who encouraged their Japanese fans after the 2011 disasters. He says that even if people have anger or frustration against Koreans, using offensive language will just make things worse. He also said that if the demonstrators are “adult” enough, they should find other ways to express their opinions.
[ via Mainichi ]