1. Tottori-Loop, a racist group inciting discrimination (2016.12.24)


Tottori-Loop incites discrimination against Buraku communities chiefly through online information activities. The group opened their website in 2005, on which they explain their objective is to break the taboo in the society to avoid touching upon the issue of Buraku discrimination. The group quarries any information in the books (including human rights education resource books), articles, research reports, and administrative information that may lead to identifying the location of Buraku communities, and discloses such information on internet.


In early 2016 on internet, Tottori-Loop disclosed “Buraku communities list”, which was the nationwide list of all names and locations of Buraku communities, and other demographic information of those communities. The list could be compared against one’s address or family registry to examine his/her connection to Buraku communities, and abused for discriminating a person in time of marriage or employment. The group obtained the list in the old government report, which the group found in a public library, where the librarians mismanaged and released the report. The group also announced the publication and sales of the list on Amazon website, saying that the old government report was no longer protected under the copyright.


In fact, the group duplicated the old incident that took place in 1975, when the underground publication and sales of “Buraku communities list” by the detective agencies was discovered. More than two hundred major companies and institutions who purchased the list for the purpose of screening the job applicants were denounced by Buraku Liberation League, and promised their engagement in taking anti-discrimination measures in their institutions. Revised Employment Security Act later prohibited collection of any personal information that might lead to discrimination. Some local ordinances banned detective industry to offer background checks for finding a person’s ancestral link to Buraku communities. Thereafter had been a public consensus that disclosing the names and locations of Buraku communities was socially unacceptable, until the group broke the rule.


Tottori-Loop claims that secrecy created taboo. However, their disclosure of the list inevitably incurs abuse, when many people still check on their future in-laws before marriages, and make secret inquiry before renting or purchasing a house.


The court issued provisional disposition order to the group to stop publication and delete the list from the website shortly after the disclosure. However the list is still available, as the mirror sites were created by unidentified third parties. It is absolutely impossible to delete the discriminatory information once uploaded on internet.


Not only the list of Buraku communities, but the group disclosed many other sensitive information, including a name list of local Buraku activists, common family names of particular Buraku communities, and their maps. The group also publish the reports of “field visits” to many Buraku communities with pictures that identify exact locations. What they are doing is WRONG, as “coming-out” (self-disclosure of one’s identity) is different from “outing” (disclosure of one’s identity from outsiders without one’s consent).


(most parts cited from an article in Taiwan Human Rights Journal, with the consent of the author, Tsubame-obasan)