The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has begun a review of concerns about hate speech against Koreans residing in Japan to determine if the country has violated the international convention aimed at eliminating racial discrimination.
The review comes amid reports of anti-Korean protests on the streets of Japan as Korea and Japan are dealing with tense diplomatic relations over historical issues.
The committee has expressed particular concern about reports of a right-wing group that was said to have used racially derogatory terms against Korean residents in Japan.
The committee has also urged the Japanese government to pass a new bill to bring its laws into line with the convention.
Although Japan is party to the convention, it does not have a law that bans racial discrimination, including hate speech.
Korean nationals in Japan say there is an urgent need for a new policy, as their rights are being violated.
"Our biggest goal is for the Japanese government to pass a bill banning racial discrimination."
Tokyo says it must first determine whether a new policy would conflict with its freedom of speech laws.
The international convention took effect in 1969 and it requires parties to outlaw hate speech.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.