Japan

Japan's press freedom ranking drops while Okinawans, women and LGBTQI+ groups hold protests

The state of civic space in Japan is rated as ‘narrowed’ by the CIVICUS Monitor. In recent months, there has been a drop in press freedom rankings issued by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). There also have been ongoing protests by Okinawans against the US bases, by women’s rights activists for improvements in gender equality and by LGBTQI+ groups for the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade and to address discrimination against them. Read more

Japan's press freedom ranking drops while Okinawans, women and LGBTQI+ groups hold protests

Increasing Twitter takedowns by Japan while teachers and Okinawans hold protests

In recent months there have been a high number of Twitter takedowns requested by the Japanese government and attempts through the courts to block a film on ‘comfort women’. There have also been protests by teachers’ unions and Okinawa residents against a US base. Read more

Increasing Twitter takedowns by Japan while teachers and Okinawans hold protests

Protests in Japan around death in immigration detention, arrest of anti-Olympics activist

In recent months there have been protests against the lack of transparency and accountability around the death of a Sri Lankan woman in immigration detention. There have also been protests against the Paralympics and the detention of a protester by the authorities. Read more

Protests in Japan around death in immigration detention, arrest of anti-Olympics activist

Protests around Olympics opening while civil society slams failure to pass anti-discrimination bill

Protests that have persisted against the Olympic Games over the last year have continued around the opening ceremony. Civil society has slammed the government for shelving an anti-discrimination bill. In a positive move, the International Olympic Committee slightly relaxed its rules against protests by athletes as long as they are not disruptive. Read more

Tags: LGBTI | protest
Protests around Olympics opening while civil society slams failure to pass anti-discrimination bill

Opposition against Olympics continues, as state of emergency extended in Japan

In recent months, protests against the Olympics have persisted, including by nurses. A public broadcaster muted protests against the games during the Olympic torch relay. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would prevent athletes from protesting or demonstrating at the Olympics, sparking criticism. Read more

Opposition against Olympics continues, as state of emergency extended in Japan

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan

In recent months, there have been attempts by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to suppress academic freedom while Japan’s legal gender recognition law creates significant discriminatory barriers for transgender women to enroll in all public women’s universities in the country. There have also been ongoing protests against the Olympics and abuses in China. Read more

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan

Activist groups in Japan call for end to racism, police abuse and passage of equality law

In July 2020, thousands joined protests in Japan against protest against racism and police brutality. Numerous civil society groups have launched a campaign calling for the passage of the Equality Act which would protect LGBT people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more

Activist groups in Japan call for end to racism, police abuse and passage of equality law

Anti-Olympics activist’s house raided while group urges games facilities be opened up to homeless

The home of anti-Olympics activists was raided in Tokyo in February 2020 while groups are calling for the Olympics facilities be opened up to homeless during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the Ibaraki Prefecture students are protesting the reopening of school amid the pandemic while the Mizuko Funding Group is halting the funding of coal after pressure from activists. There has been a small improvement in Japan’s press freedom index in 2019 Read more

Anti-Olympics activist’s house raided while group urges games facilities be opened up to homeless

Immigration detainees in Japan hold hunger strike while Okinawa anti-base protests continue

Over the last few months, immigration detainees went on a hunger strike to protest against prolonged detention. Protests have continued against a new US airfield in Okinawa off the Henoko coast. The first ordinance to punish hate speech was passed in the Kawasaki assembly in the Kanagawa Prefecture. An international contemporary art festival shut down a section around censorship within Japan, while the International Olympic Committee has banned political expression at the upcoming Olympics. Read more

Immigration detainees in Japan hold hunger strike while Okinawa anti-base protests continue

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law

In the last few months, protests have been held against the problematic anti-rape laws in Japan and in support of the mass protests in Hong Kong. Women in Japan have also mobilised online against the requirement for women to wear high heels in the workplace.. A UN expert on freedom of expression has submitted a follow up report to the Human Rights Council on the failure of the Japanese government to implement recommendations he made in 2017 to improve freedom of expression including on media independence. Read more

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law