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Man fined over hate speech posted anonymously on blog

TOKYO -- A man who anonymously posted hate speech against a 16-year-old "Zainichi" Korean resident of Japan on a blog has been fined in a summary order, an attorney of the boy announced on Jan. 16.

The Kawasaki local public prosecutors office in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, summarily indicted the 66-year-old man, a resident of Oita Prefecture in western Japan, last December, accusing him of insulting the teen. The Kawasaki Summary Court subsequently fined the defendant 9,000 yen as a penalty. It was the first such punishment in Japan over an anonymous online insult involving hate speech, according to the attorney.

Referring to a newspaper article containing the name of the boy, who had participated in a music event in Kawasaki, the man posted a discriminative and slanderous message in January 2018, the lawyer said. The boy subsequently approached the lawyer, who demanded that the company managing the blog provide information about the sender, and identified him.

In a comment released by his lawyer, the boy stated, "I can't forget the fear and shock I felt after finding the hate speech. I never want to see discrimination again on the internet or in real life."

(Japanese original by Shotaro Kinoshita, City News Department)

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