The U.S. State Department has raised concerns about Japanese groups’ “hate speech” directed at ethnic Koreans.
“Ultra right-wing groups held a series of demonstrations in predominantly ethnic Korean neighborhoods in Tokyo,” according to the annual human rights report released by the State Department on Feb. 27. “Group members used racially pejorative terms and were accused of hate speech by the press and politicians.”
The 2013 report also touched upon the arrests of people connected to Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai (Group of citizens who do not tolerate privileges for ethnic Korean residents in Japan), known more commonly as Zaitokukai.
The individuals, including the leader of the group, were arrested after getting into scuffles with others who were protesting their hate speech campaign.
In South Korea: Thousands swarmed the streets of Seoul dressed as Japanese colonialists and revolutionary South Korean fighters to celebrate their country’s liberation 95 years ago today.
Clutching flags, with festive silver face paint, activists reenacted battles to cheers from the crowds.
The public holiday marks the day in 1919 when the country gained independence from their Asian neighbour.
Hundreds were killed during revolutionary protests.
Locally called Gwangbokjeol, which translates as ‘Restoration of Light Day’, the event also saw hundreds of children perform and sing.
President Park Geun-Hye took the opportunity to warn Japan it would face ‘isolation’ if it pushed ahead with a move to revisit an apology over wartime sex slavery.