The Potential for National Hate Speech Legislation and Japan: An International Consideration on Possibilities


Freedom of speech is considered to be such a fundamental and universal right that it was included in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Free speech is valuable in that it facilitates the open exchange of ideas. With free speech, however, also comes the ability to use speech to harm others, such as through hate speech. Hate speech is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “[s]peech that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, such as a particular race, esp[ecially] in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence.” Hate speech could be considered an inevitable consequence of the availability of free speech. One country that has seen a problematic influx of hate speech is Japan.


freedom of speech, hate speech, Japan, CERD, racially-based hate speech, racial discrimination, Osaka, name and shame, incitement, Australia, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, constitutional rights



Nichole Koontz (Washington University School of Law)



Publication details



All rights reserved

Peer Review

This article has not been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • pdf: 323089d1da5d6c4ffc5033d1b5271f8a