Joint Statement of Churches
We strongly protest the actions (hate speech) of July 6 in Waseda,
which promote racial discrimination and hatred.
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19: 33-34
We strongly protest actions that promote racial discrimination and hatred (hate speech), which targeted organizations whose offices are located in the Japan Christian Center and the AVACO Christian Communications Center, performed on a route from Takadanobaba to Waseda during the afternoon of June 6, 2014.
This demonstration, titled “Demonstration March in Takadanobaba~Waseda for the Elimination of Korean Cult Organized Crime,” was organized under the lead of Council for the Elimination of Crimes by Foreigners, with support from the Association for the Demand of Separation of Politics and Religion. Organizers shouted, “The Fortress of Anti-Japan – Charge into the Japan Christian Center!” as they marched, and they referred by name to the Japan Christian Center and AVACO as “Korean Cults.”
This claim is an act of defamation, based on a complete misrepresentation of fact. Furthermore, although the organizers may claim that this was “a demonstration march in accordance with public security regulations,” it is clear that these actions targeting Koreans and other foreigners in Japan are acts of discrimination prohibited under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which is already ratified by Japan, and therefore should be prohibited and brought to an end by all appropriate means including legislation.
In addition, Japan, as signatory nation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, has promised to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division, to not sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination by any persons or organizations, and to ensure that national and local public authorities act in accordance with these obligations. (Articles 2 and 4 of the Convention).
We feel deep sorrow and anger that, in spite of these international commitments, one student who participated in a demonstration declaring that “Racism and hate speech must not be allowed under democracy” was unjustly arrested and held in custody for 10 days.
As persons who witness to the Gospel of Christ, who said “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and as persons who celebrate all life in this world, we strongly demand the following:
(1) We protest against those persons who on this occasion performed actions that fan racial discrimination. We also demand an immediate halt of incitements toward direct injury against the lives and bodies of others, and apology for actually causing harm through hate speech.
(2) We protest against the local municipal authorities, who tolerated the use of Nishitoyama Park as a gathering point for this action, and against police, who guided demonstrators and provided security during the demonstration. We strongly demand that public institutions, which are obligated to “…undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination”(Article 4), never again accept applications for rallies and demonstration whose purpose is hate speech.
(3) We demand immediate release of the student who was unjustly arrested by police, and that such violation of human rights by police never be repeated.
(4) To the government of Japan we demand the development, without delay, of laws for the elimination of racial discrimination and protection of human rights, including redress for victims of hate speech and acts of discrimination, in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of which it a signatory.
July 16, 2014
National Christian Conference for Promotion of a Basic Law for Foreign Residents
NCCJ Human Rights of Foreign Residents Committee
Catholic Commission of Japan for Migrants, Refugees, and People on the Move
United Church of Christ in Japan Special Committee on Solidarity with Citizens of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Living in Japan
Korean Christion Church in Japan Social Issues Committee
Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan Committee for Justice and Peace
Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan personnel in charge of human-rights issues
Church of Christ in Japan Committee on Human Rights
Japan Baptist Convention Special Committee on Japan-Korea and Zainichi Solidarity
Japan Baptist Union Mission Section