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Kawasaki issues Japan's 1st guidelines on public facility use based on risk of hate speech

KAWASAKI -- In a nationwide first, the Kawasaki Municipal Government on Nov. 9 released a set of guidelines governing whether or not to allow the use of public facilities based on the risk of hate speech.

No other municipality in the country has set ex-ante regulations on the use of public facilities with regard to hate speech.

According to the new guidelines, the municipal government reserves the right to issue a warning or turn down permission to those applying for the use of public facilities "in cases in which it is specifically recognized that there is a risk that wrongful discriminatory speech and behavior will occur, based on objective facts."

Moreover, if it emerges after permission for the use of public facilities has been issued that such a risk exists, the municipal government can rescind its earlier decision.

To determine whether to deny permission or to revoke permission that has already been given, the municipal government will hold hearings with applicants, as well as with a third-party group comprising attorneys and other experts.

"The stance taken by our city, which aspires to be inclusive, cannot coexist with hate speech," Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda said.

Kawasaki's guidelines will go into effect within the 2017 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2018.

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