Dealing with Hate Speech

Voices from Young Koreans Living in Japan

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
Ji-Hyun Ahn University of Washington Tacoma

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Hyewon Park University of Tokyo

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Anti-Korean hate speech has become a serious social problem in recent years in Japan. In order to address the growing concern about the issue, Japan’s National Diet passed an anti-hate speech law in 2016. While some legal actions have been taken as a result and there has been some recent academic research into the social production of hate speech, relatively little effort has been made to investigate how the targeted group understands and deals with this form of hostility. Our aim here is to document the ways in which young Koreans who have been living in Japan for greater or lesser lengths of time perceive the rise in hate speech directed against them there and their strategies for coping with it. We explore these issues through an analysis of in-depth interviews with 14 young Koreans, for we seek to shift the focus of hate speech away from the “act” and toward its “targets.”

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