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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, December 11, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue of the hate speech
  • The Japan-ROK relations


REPORTER: Based on yesterday’s Supreme Court judgment over hate speech, can you please once again explain the intentions of the Government? When Governor Masuzoe of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government met with Prime Minister Abe in August, Governor Masuzoe requested laws and regulations banning hate speech, saying it was embarrassing for Tokyo to overlook this issue as it prepares for the Olympic Games. What are your intentions in this regard?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: I would like to refrain from making comments regarding individual judgments. That said, I believe this judgment showed that civil remedies can be sought against language and behaviors which are deemed “hate speech.” If there are incidents which should be handled as criminal cases, then criminal laws and ordinances are applied to deal with them as appropriate. At the same time, however, from the perspectives of freedom of speech and freedom of expression, a number of difficult issues are involved when it comes to new regulations against acts which are neither illegal acts under the Civil Code, nor acts which are subject to criminal punishment. In light of the deepening public debate, these are issues which will be examined through party deliberations at the Diet. Obviously, it is critically important in our view that the human rights of each and every person are respected and that a prosperous and mature society is achieved. Therefore, we will begin by working to ensure the proper application of existing legislation and the enhancement of outreach activities. In particular, the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice are proactively engaged in existing outreach activities related to the human rights of foreign nationals, as well as effective outreach activities utilizing various media which make it clear that there should never be hate speech. As part of these efforts, we are using various media to send out a clear message that hate speech shall never be condoned. We are also making it easier for people to know about the consultation services which are available for human rights issues, including hate speech victimization. In any case, we will communicate strongly and clearly, as appropriate, that the Government does not condone hate speech.

REPORTER: On the 10th, Mr. Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, stated that, “strong, healthy, good relations” between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are “a priority for the United States,” referring to next year which will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. What are your comments on this?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SEKO: The ROK is an extremely important neighbor for Japan, despite the difficult issues which exist between the two countries. We view the Japan-ROK cooperation to be essential for the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region. It is critical that both countries continue to make efforts to build future-oriented relations from a broad perspective. The two Governments are holding discussions at a variety of levels on various issues in order to improve the situation of Japan-ROK relations, and thereby open up the prospect of a positive outcome. Recently, Prime Minister Abe and President Park Geun-hye held a long conversation during a dinner at APEC. Furthermore, a Japan-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting was held in September, and Director-General level talks were held last month. Japan will continue to communicate its basic views as well as its efforts and actions to date to be able to obtain the understanding of the United States.


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