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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Regulating hate propaganda in Japan : Canadian hate regulation and Japanese minorities Yamamoto, Yōko


With the end of the Second World War, the importance of human rights protection and promotion became an important objective throughout much of the world. The incitement of hatred of members of minority groups, for instance, on the basis of race, religion or colour, is prohibited in many countries, including Canada. In addition to existing provisions in federal and provincial Human Rights Acts, Canada has criminalized hate propaganda by adding "Hate Propaganda" offences to its Criminal Code. However, such legal regulation has been controversial because of the possible conflict with freedom of expression. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the rationales of anti-hate propaganda laws in Canada in light of the constitutional right to freedom of expression, and to ask whether similar laws should be introduced in Japan. Japan is a country often described as "homogeneous." Maintaining the reputation of being homogeneous in the racial and cultural context, Japan has avoided recognizing the existence of minorities. However, behind this illusion, minorities in Japan are hidden and forgotten. Members of minority groups quietly but certainly exist in Japan, fighting against racism and discrimination. Japanese minorities are also the targets of hateful expression. However, at present, Japanese law does not control discriminatory expression. The Canadian approach to hate propaganda expresses intolerance towards hate activities and promotes equality amongst people. With the rationales of the Canadian concept of anti-hate propaganda laws as a foundation for analysis, this thesis examines the possibility of regulating hate propaganda in Japan, based on the recognition of minority rights.

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