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'Kill Koreans Group' racist graffiti found in Tokyo's Akabane Station

An East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) sign is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Racist graffiti targeting Koreans in Japan was discovered in JR Akabane Station and reported to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) on Sept. 30, the firm told the Mainichi Shimbun.

    According to JR East, graffiti in red Japanese characters reading "Kill Koreans Group" was found on a banner on one of the train station's platforms. The railway cleaned the racist message off the banner the day it was reported.

    Tokyo Junshin University professor Michio Sano said he reported the graffiti to JR East on Sept. 30. He added that the graffiti had first been spotted by Korean school students on Sept. 9, and that one of their mothers then told him about it. He said that the student was frightened by the red scrawl.

    The graffiti incident follows an August 2021 case in which a man set a fire in the Utoro district of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture -- an area heavily settled by Korean residents of Japan -- and later told police, "I've got feelings of enmity toward South Koreans."

    Sano said, "Because it's happened after the Utoro incident, I don't see the content of the graffiti as just words. I feel real danger." He continued, "I want JR to check all its stations to make sure there isn't any other graffiti like this."

    The General Association of Korean Residents in Japan's north Tokyo branch and other parties on Oct. 1 formally requested JR Akabane Station to "create an environment where children can feel secure."

    (Japanese original by Mei Nammo, Tokyo City News Department)

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