The Japanese government in a new report to the United Nations claims it has made “every conceivable” effort over the past seven years to rid the nation of any form of racial discrimination. Human rights groups, and Doudou Diene, the UN special rapporteur on racism, have called for passage of legislation which would make clear racism and xenophobia are against the law. However, the government has insisted that Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution makes it illegal to engage in racist activities so there is no need of any new legislation.
The Japanese report focuses intently on the situation of the Ainu, Korean residents, and other foreigners. Of the 23,782 Ainu, 93.5% of youth to on to high school and 17.4% on to college. However, about 30% of Hokkadio’s Ainu claim they experience discrimination at school, in job interviews or when getting married. It does not appear passing a law would be that onerous an event in Japanese society.