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Nara town assemblyman slammed for Facebook hate speech posts targeting S. Koreans

The Ando Town Hall is seen in Nara Prefecture on Nov. 1, 2019. (Mainichi/Hitoshi Kumagai)

ANDO, Nara -- A municipal assemblyman who had already resigned once for posting hate speech on Facebook is under fire again for posts targeting South Koreans, including accusing them of a "culture of rape."

Keiji Masui, 61, an independent member of the Ando Municipal Assembly, deleted his Facebook account in late October at the instruction of Speaker Hitomi Morita after a prefectural resident pointed out his posts were problematic.

Masui said he wrote several discriminatory Facebook posts between August and October this year. One dated Aug. 17 said, "The South Korean culture of rape and prostitution is well-known to the world."

The assemblyman has resigned once before after a January 2018 Facebook post claiming a specific Diet member was a Korean resident of Japan, and stating, "I want to punish the legislator by tearing their crotch apart."

Masui gave up his seat after critics pointed out that the post constituted hate speech. However, he reclaimed his spot on the assembly in an April election.

"My understanding of hate speech was insufficient. I deeply regret having caused trouble to South Koreans and many other people," Masui told the Mainichi Shimbun. "I'd like to keep working for the town and its residents," he added, signaling he had no intention of resigning again.

The municipal assembly is considering its response.

(Japanese original by Hitoshi Kumagai, Oji Resident Bureau)

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