One of our most commented-upon posts deals with the story of Steve McGowan, a black man living in Japan who lost a lawsuit against a racist optician who told him to “get out!” of the store.
Fortunately, he eventually found some semblance of justice. The Kyoto District Court’s verdict was overturned by the Osaka High Court this week, and MacGowan received ¥350,000 in emotional damages for what the court described as “an outrageous act beyond common sense.”
However, the court refused to consider the comment as discrimination per se. Exactly why is unclear, but the resulting damages award, based solely on being told in a harsh voice to leave the store (race notwithstanding), is not even enough to cover McGowan’s legal expenses (according to Debito‘s account of the situation).
So… a victory, kind of, sort of, maybe. But at least the courts aren’t total assholes.