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Between December 2009 and March 2010, members of xenophobic groups attacked Kyoto Korean Daiichi Elementary School, organizing a series of three discriminatory rallies. When the school and the parents sought to fight back in the criminal and civil courts, they were met with obstacles: the undefined nature of hate speech, the legal system’s incapacity to deal with hate crime, and the Japanese majority’s lack of understanding of ethnic education, rooted in Zainichi Korean resistance against colonialism and assimilation. Charged under existing laws, four attackers were convicted in criminal court. The school’s persistence also paid off in victory in the civil courts. Inevitably, discussion of anti-discrimination legislation ensued, resulting in the Hate Speech Elimination Act of 2016 (the first anti-racism Act in Japan) and Kawasaki City’s anti-hate speech ordinance of 2019 (the first to stipulate criminal penalties). Nevertheless, many issues remain. This chapter reports the pain suffered by those subjected to the discriminatory attacks. It also discusses what it means for minorities to fight a legal fight and what issues persist even after victory.
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