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Tokyo student files human rights complaint against professor's anti-Korean hate speech

Hitotsubashi University is seen in the suburban city of Kunitachi in Tokyo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A graduate student at Hitotsubashi University has filed a human rights complaint against an American associate professor who is said to have repeatedly used hate speech against Koreans during classes, it has emerged.

Ryang Yong-Song, a 37-year-old "Zainichi" Korean resident of Japan, filed the complaint with the Kunitachi Municipal Government in the western suburbs of Tokyo on Aug. 1 based on the city's ordinance banning ethnic discrimination.

According to the complaint, the male associate professor, who is in his 50s, made generalizations about Koreans in expletive-filled English when railing against a specific student at the beginning of a May 6 class, saying, "(The student is) absolutely crazed, like most, like most Koreans, I mean, just a f------ idiot. So, if you are recording this, in my opinion, Koreans are (a) bunch of f------ idiots!" He is also said to have slandered Koreans at the outset of another class on June 4.

Furthermore, the associate professor slandered the 37-year-old doctoral course student on his own Twitter and other social media accounts, according to the complaint.

In response to the complaint, the Kunitachi Municipal Government will launch an investigation and report its results to a council. The council will then recommend necessary measures to be taken over the matter.

A municipal ordinance that comprehensively bans various forms of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender and other elements went into effect in April.

The ordinance stipulates that the city must take necessary measures to eradicate discrimination and provide human rights redress. The city also requires universities and other business operators in its jurisdiction to make efforts to eliminate unjust discrimination.

The student told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I have filed requests with the university time and again demanding the associate professor retract his remarks and offer an apology, but the school didn't respond to my requests. I'm horrified and suffering mental distress from having gone through relentless attacks."

When asked for comment, the public relations office of Hitotsubashi University said, "We withhold from comment, as an official in charge is not here."

(Japanese original by Jun Ida, Integrated Digital News Center)

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