Tokyo: A Japanese court ordered a group of anti-Korean activists to pay a Korean school in Kyoto 12 million yen (USD 1,20,000) in compensation today for disturbing classes and scaring children by holding "hate speech" rallies outside the school.
The landmark ruling acknowledged for the first time the explicit insults used in the rallies constituted racial discrimination, human rights experts said, and it could prompt a move to exempt hate speech from Japan`s constitutional right to free speech.
In the Kyoto District Court ruling, judge Hitoshi Hashizume said hateful language the members of the anti-Korea group Zaitokukai and their supporters shouted and printed on banners during the rallies around the school were illegal and disturbed classes and scared off school children. The judge said the video footage of the racist rallies posted by the group on the web was illegal.
The court said the rallies "constitute racial discrimination" defined under the United Nations` convention on the elimination of racial discrimination, which Japan has ratified.
Today`s ruling also banned the group from staging further demonstrations in the neighbourhood of the pro-Pyongyang Korean elementary school in southern Kyoto, according to a court spokesman Naoki Yokota.
Several hundred thousand Koreans comprise Japan`s largest ethnic minority group, many of them descendants of forced labourers shipped to Japan during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea, and still face discrimination.