Japanese step up against anti-Korea demonstrations

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Mar 18, 2013 - 14:04
  • Updated : Mar 18, 2013 - 17:28

As anti-Korea sentiment in Japan boils over, some Japanese citizens are stepping up to protest the negativity.

According to Yonhap News Agency, around 100 Japanese citizens held a rally in Koreatown of Tokyo on Sunday to counter anti-Korea demonstrations. Pro-Korean Japanese picketed to protest the demonstration by hundreds of members from far-right groups.

The participants of pro-Korea rally organized online and urged against anti-Korean sentiment by holding signs bearing words “Let’s be friends” and “No to discrimination.”

Some members of the groups collided physically, forcing the local police to intervene.

Anti-Korea sentiment in Japan has gone up recently due to territorial and historical disputes between the two countries, such as the sovereign control over Dokdo islets and “comfort women” issues.

Groups such as “Zainichitokken-o Yurusanai Shiminno Kai“ (Civil Group opposing privileges of Korean-Japanese) have regularly held protests to insult Koreans and urge them to leave Japan. According to witnesses, some have even held signs demanding “Koreans should be hanged” or “sent to a gas chamber.”

The excessive anger has even alerted the rightists in Japan. Suzuki Kunio, a senior advisor for nationalist group Issuikai, said such anti-Korean sentiments were neither nationalistic nor in line with right-wing politics.

Last week, liberal Japanese lawmakers held an assembly to protest anti-foreign and racist rallies.

One of the hosts, Arita Yoshihu of the Democratic Party, said the protests have “gone over the line.”

“Calling out for death of Koreans is not a freedom of speech. The situation cannot be tolerated,” Arita said.

By Yoon Min-sik and news reports

<관련 한글 기사>

도를 넘은 ‘혐한’, 일본인도 질려!

한국에 대한 혐오감을 유포시키는 혐한(嫌韓)운동에 반대하는 시위대가 일본 도쿄에 등장했다.

17일 오후 도쿄 신오쿠보의 한인타운에서는 혐한 시위에 반대하는 사람들의 ‘맞불 시위’가 진행됐다. 100여명으로 구성된 이들은 ‘재일특권을 허용하지 않는 시민의 모임’ 등에 소속된 혐한 시위대 수백명이 거리를 행진하자 혐한 활동을 그만두라는 구호를 외쳤다.

‘친한’ 시위대는 “친하게 지내요” “차별 반대” 등의 글귀가 적힌 피켓을 들기도 했다. 이들 두 시위대 사이에 몸싸움이 벌어지면서 경찰이 진압에 나서기도 했다.

최근 일본에서는 한국인을 주된 표적으로 삼는 배외주의 흐름에 반대하는 움직임이 가시화되고 있다. 지난 14일에는 아리타 요시후 민주당 의원과 히라야마 마코토 녹색바람당 의원 등의 주최로 참의원 의원회관에서 ‘배외주의•인종모멸 시위에 항의하는 국회 집회’가 열리기도 했다.

Anti-Korea sentiment in Japan drastically grew during the past year. In this youtube video posted last July, a far-right Japanese group tramples on maliciously depicted Taegeukgi. (Youtube)