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NHK Hiroshima deletes tweets slammed as racist, reposts thread on website

The NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Masaaki Shimano)

TOKYO -- Public broadcaster NHK's Hiroshima station on Oct. 2 deleted tweets posted as part of its "Hiroshima Timeline" project including ones that had been slammed as discriminatory against Koreans, and republished them on its website.

    The station deleted nearly all the project's tweets posted up to August this year, including the controversial messages. Critics had been claiming with increasing intensity that leaving the tweets up "promotes discrimination against Koreans." Regarding shifting the content to its homepage, NHK Hiroshima stated, "This was always planned, to make it easier to read the entire thread."

    The Timeline project runs multiple Twitter accounts, posting as characters living before, during and after the Aug. 6, 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, as though social media existed at the time. The tweets flagged by critics as problematic were posted by schoolboy "Shun," one of the fictional characters, based on the recollections of a real individual living at the time. They included one about "Koreans" which stated that they "smashed all the windows in this overcrowded train while shouting angrily, and then pulled out passengers who were sitting down. Then they all came pushing in."

    The tweets moved to the NHK Hiroshima website are now accompanied by a simple explanation about why many people from the Korean Peninsula lived in Japan during the war years. However, there is no mention of discriminatory feelings against Koreans in Japan at the time, or the continuance of such feelings.

    Some internet users panned the decision to transfer the tweets to NHK Hiroshima's website, with comments including, "They've just put up racist posts again."

    (Japanese original by Mei Nammo, City News Department)

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