Doudou Diene's report on his visit to Japan is published at last, available here. It's not exactly diplomatic:
69. After having collected and analysed the views of all parties concerned, the Special Rapporteur reached the conclusion that racial discrimination and xenophobia do exist in Japan, and that these affect three circles of discriminated groups: the national minorities - the Buraku people, the Ainu and the people of Okinawa; people from and descendants of people from former Japanese colonies - Korea and China; and foreigners and migrants from other Asian countries and from the rest of the world.The main conclusions are that the Japanese Govt should do something about it:
70. The Special Rapporteur noticed that the manifestations of such racial discrimination and xenophobia are manifold. First of all, they are of a social and economic nature. All surveys and indicators point to the fact that minorities live in a situation of marginalization and economic and social vulnerability, in the fields of employment, housing, marriage, pensions, health and education. Such inequalities vis-à-vis the rest of the Japanese society should urgently be addressed.
71. Secondly, the discrimination is also of a political nature. The Special Rapporteur noticed the invisibility of the national minorities in State institutions, in particular the Parliament and the Government. For example, the Ainu have only had one congressman in the national Parliament, whom the Special Rapporteur met, but have none at present. Such invisibility shows the depth of exclusion, and increases the sense of discrimination and marginalization of the communities concerned, who are given no opportunity to participate in the managing of their present and future affairs.
V. RECOMMENDATIONSSo we can expect to see (at best) a brief flurry of bland comments from the politicians, assurances that they will look into it when the time is right...and the whole matter being quietly forgotten.
74. The Government, at the highest levels, should officially and publicly recognize the existence of racial discrimination and xenophobia in Japanese society. It should be done by conducting a survey to find out the present conditions of each discriminated group in Japan. The Government, at the highest levels, should also officially and publicly recognize historical and cultural roots of racial discrimination and xenophobia in the Japanese society, and express in clear and strong terms its political will to combat it. Such a message will not only create the political conditions of combating discrimination and xenophobia at all levels of society, but also facilitate the promotion of the complex but profound process of multiculturalism in Japanese society. Moreover, in the context of globalization, such a message will undoubtedly enhance the standing and image of Japan in the world and in particular in the countries economically related to Japan and whose citizens or people migrate or visit Japan. Japanese citizens, who are increasingly visiting foreign countries for tourism or business-related reasons, will be in a stronger moral position not only to combat the manifestations of discrimination they may be subjected to, but also to promote the image of their country.
75. The Government should strongly condemn and oppose to any statement by public officials which tolerates or even encourages racial discrimination and xenophobia, in accordance with article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by Japan, and in particular its paragraph (c), which provides that States “shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination”, and in accordance with article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also ratified by Japan, which prohibits “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.
76. The Government and the parliament (Diet) should as a matter of urgency proceed to the adoption of a national law against racism, discrimination and xenophobia, giving effect into its domestic legal order to the provisions of its Constitution and of the international instruments to which Japan is a party, which include the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Such a domestic law should:
Penalize racial discrimination in all its forms, and specifically discrimination in the field of employment, housing and marriage, and guarantee access to effective protection and remedies, including compensation, to victims;
Declare an offence all propaganda and all organizations which are based on racial superiority or hatred and promote or incite racial discrimination, as provided for in article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur shares the view of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination that the reservation made by Japan to article 4 (a) and (b) of the Convention is in conflict with Japan’s obligations under article 4, which is of a mandatory nature, and that the prohibition of the dissemination of all ideas based upon racial superiority and hatred is compatible with the rights to freedom of opinion and expression. Therefore, the inclusion in the domestic legal system of a prohibition of all propaganda and all organizations which promote or incite racial discrimination cannot validly be avoided by invoking the rights to freedom of opinion and expression.
The communities concerned should be consulted and should participate in the process of elaboration of this law.