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HOME > Public Statements and Opinion Papers > Opinion Papers > Opinion Calling for Appropriate Application of the Act on the Promotion of Efforts to Eliminate Unfair Discriminatory Speech and Behavior against Persons Originating from Outside Japan

Opinion Calling for Appropriate Application of the Act on the Promotion of Efforts to Eliminate Unfair Discriminatory Speech and Behavior against Persons Originating from Outside Japan

→日本語版(Japanese)


September 10, 2020

Japan Federation of Bar Associations



The Japan Federation of Bar Associations put together an opinion paper, “Opinion Calling for Appropriate Application of the Act on the Promotion of Efforts to Eliminate Unfair Discriminatory Speech and Behavior against Persons Originating from Outside Japan,” dated September 10, 2020, and submitted it to the Prime Minister; the Minister of Justice; the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications; the Commissioner General of the National Police Agency; the Prefectural Governors; and the President of the Japan Association of City Mayors on September 24, 2020.



Summary of the Opinion

To ensure appropriate application of the Act on the Promotion of Efforts to Eliminate Unfair Discriminatory Speech and Behavior against Persons Originating from Outside Japan (the “Act”), the following should be examined.


1. The Government should, while being careful not to intrude into school curriculums excessively and grasp the initiatives to educate students to eliminate unfair discriminatory speech and behavior, show to the teachers on site the importance of paying due consideration to the historical background of the discrimination, and the significance of disseminating what “unfair discriminatory speech and behavior” is with typical examples, so that the education programs to eliminate unfair discriminatory speech and behavior will be undertaken on a nationwide basis.


2. Measures to be taken against demonstrations involving unfair discriminatory speech and behavior


(1) The police officers in charge of security on site should continue to address the public explaining the aim of the Act, when there is a high likelihood that a given assembly will develop into a demonstration involving unfair discriminatory speech and behavior (the “Hate Demo”).


(2) To ensure that the above-mentioned public addressing will not create a chilling effect on acts of free expression, the Government should formulate guidelines and require municipal police to provide the police officers with training on the Act. Additionally, the Government should develop a system for the ex post verification involving a third party to review how the public-addressing operation was performed.


(3) The police’s safeguarding operation on the sites of Hate Demos should be carried out with full consideration not to escalate into the excessive restriction on liberty of movement and freedom of expression of people who utter words of protest against the unfair discriminatory speech and behavior (“counters”), when the counters are not obstructing pedestrian traffic or there is no actual risk of a physical conflict between the counters and the demonstrators. In addition, the Government should develop a system for the ex post verification involving a third party to review the situation where such consideration was actually taken.


3. The Government and municipalities should actively require internet providers to eliminate unfair discriminatory remarks on the internet, regardless of being targeted at a specific individual, or at a group or organization.


4. Measures to restrict the use of public facilities when unfair discriminatory speech and behavior are likely to take place on the premises


(1) Municipalities should amend the relevant prefectural ordinance(s) so that the use of public facilities they manage can be restricted if it is definitely apparent based on objective facts that unfair discriminatory speech and behavior are going to take place in public on the premises. Meanwhile, a so-called “Disturbing-Other-Users Requirement,” as set out in the standards for restricting use of public facilities, should not be applied when imposing such restriction on the use of public facilities.


(2) To ensure the effective and appropriate implementation of the restriction on the use of public facilities, municipalities should develop guidelines that set out a mechanism for a third-party organization including a specialist(s) to assess whether the Disturbing-Other-Users Requirement should be applied to the restriction.