University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Japan is undoubtedly one of the foremost economic powers in the world and is internationally recognized as a democratic leader among modern nations. The economy's rapid growth in the mid-twentieth century has been attributed to its booming technical industries, including its electronic and automobile industries. However, Japan is unique in that it has retained traditions associated with typically less advanced nations-namely, a regressive human rights agenda. Although cultural, ethnic, and social minorities continue to exist on Japanese soil today, Japan's social policy of Nihonjinron allows the majority of the population to disregard such minorities and perpetuate the government's vision of a unified nation.2 The goal of this paper is to discuss the communities in Japan that are denied rights guaranteed by international law, to identify the remedial provisions available to such groups, as well as to make recommendations concerning how to affect the speedy recognition and transformation of their rights in Japan. By analyzing the cultural, ethnic, and social minorities of Japan, this paper centers Japan's unique historical background and social atmosphere as a context for discussion and as a platform for change.3

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