The Unreported UN Report On Racism In Japan

Yesterday the United Nations released its report on human rights in Japan.  We waited one day to report on what the report said.  Not a single news agency in Japan, print, television, or foreign language has reported on the story.  Also, not a single agency has yet to report on the two Peruvian victims of racist attacks in Shizuoka and Kanazawa.  The silence of the Japanese media is very telling where its priorities lie. - Rev. Daniel Rea, Editor

The Report:

An independent investigator for the UN says racism in Japan is still deep and profound, and the government does not recognize the depth of the problem.

The UN special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia, was speaking at the end of a nine-day tour of the country.

The rapporteur said Japan should introduce new legislation to combat discrimination.  The rapporteur traveled to several Japanese cities during his visit, meeting minority groups and touring slums.

He said that although the government helped to organise his visit, he felt many officials failed to recognise the seriousness of the racism and discrimination minorities suffered.

He was also concerned that politicians in the Abe cabinet used racist or nationalist themes, as he put it, to whip up popular emotions. He pointed out the travel to Korea by Suzuki with the intention to deface sex slave monuments which was not punished by the LDP or by Japanese diplomats.  He singled out the treatment of all foreign residents and indigenous tribes.

The rapporteur has noted the refusal of Japan to stop undermining the Kono Statement on sex slaves, and the refusal of Japan's government to officially recognize the Rape of Nanking, and the approved slaughter of Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Burmese during World War II to save resources for the Japanese military.

While in Tokyo and Nagoya the rapporteur witnessed nationalist groups holding public events that called Koreans roaches, demanded the expulsion of Chinese, and at one rally in Nagoya a group called for "the extermination of foreign trash".

The rapporteur says he plans to recommend that Japan enact a law against discrimination and hate crimes legislation which he said should be drawn up in consultation with minority groups.

He said he included the cases of racist attacks against the girl in Shizuoka and the boy in Kanazawa when submitting the report to the United Nations after meetings with the Peruvian Consul General, Julio Cardenas.

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