KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police on Tuesday arrested three members of an uyoku dantai, or right-wing group, for assaulting a man at a hate speech rally in Kawasaki City, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Mar. 30).
At approximately 1:35 p.m. on March 20, Yuki Hashimoto, 36, and two other members beat the head and abdomen of the man, 46, during the event, which was held in front of JR Kawasaki Station.
The victim was hospitalized with slight injuries.
At the event, the right-wing group was using hate speech to target Koreans living in Japan, known by the term zainichi. At the time of the attack, the victim was protesting their actions by speaking through a microphone.
Hashimoto, who has been charged with assault, denies the charges. “There was heckling (by those opposing hate speech), and then some punches were thrown,” the suspect is quoted by police, according to TBS News (Mar. 30). “I don’t remember what happened after that.”
According to police, more than three members of the group participated in the assault. The investigation is ongoing.
Update: Police have arrested a fourth right-winger member, Shigeki Yoshioka, 47, as a part of the investigation, according to TBS News (Mar. 31).