Opinion Calling for Prompt Policies and Measures to be Taken toward the Eradication of Discrimination due to Race and Other Factors
May 7, 2015
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (“JFBA”) has prepared its “Opinion Calling for Prompt Policies and Measures to be Taken toward the Eradication of Discrimination due to Race and Other Factors” and submitted the Opinion to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councilors and the representative of each political party on May 13, 2015.
Summary of the Opinion
The JFBA calls on the Japanese government to take urgent measures toward the eradication of discrimination due to race and other factors (race, skin color, lineage, ethnicity, tribe, or nationality) (collectively, “racial discrimination”) as stated below, based on the principles of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (the “ICERD”):
- The JFBA calls upon the Japanese government to conduct a fact-finding survey on the actual situations concerning racial discrimination, such as (i) discriminatory treatment, namely the refusal to allow foreign nationals entry into shops or renting of apartments, etc., due to racial discrimination, or (ii) speech and behavior which instigates or fosters racial hatred or racial discrimination (collectively, “hate speech”).
- The JFBA calls on the Japanese government to enact a law which will set forth: (i) the principle of a ban on racial discrimination; and (ii) a basic framework in the Japanese government and local governments implementing measures and policies toward the eradication of racial discrimination (the “Basic Act”). Furthermore, this Basic Act should stipulate the contents stated below:
The purpose of the Basic Act is to realize the principles of the ICERD, along with Articles 13 and 14 of the Japanese Constitution.
(2) Definition of racial discrimination
The definition of racial discrimination should include various forms of discrimination, not only discrimination based on race, skin color, lineage, ethnic origin, tribe, but also that due to nationality.
(3) Prohibition of undue acts of discrimination, etc., including carrying out hate speech in public
(4) Drawing up basic policies
(5) Details of the policies and measures that the Japanese government and local governments should take
(6) Implementation of education regarding human rights
(7) Establishment of an institution which will make recommendations, etc. with reference to policies toward the eradication of racial discrimination
- The JFBA urges the Japanese government to establish a national human rights institution independent from the government in a prompt manner and to take measures which will enable the use of individual complaints procedures, in order to prevent racial discrimination and to provide redress to victims of discrimination.