The U.S. State Department has raised concerns about "hate activities" by far-right Japanese groups against ethnic Koreans.
In its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 released last Thursday, the department said, "Ultra right-wing groups held a series of demonstrations in predominantly ethnic Korean neighborhoods in Tokyo [where] group members used racially pejorative terms and were accused of hate speech by the press and politicians."
The report highlights the arrest of some rightwingers including the head of the leading anti-Korean civic group "Citizens Against Special Privileges for the Zainichi" or ethnic Koreans in Japan during demonstrations on June 17 last year.
It reflects growing concern in the U.S. about a broader lurch to the far right in Japanese society since Shinzo Abe took power.
Permanent residents of Brazilian, Chinese, Filipino and Korean descent, who were born and educated in Japan, are subject to various forms of discrimination including "reduced access to housing, education and employment" the report added.