UN UPR Japan

Japan’s third review – 28th session – 14 November 2017

Japan was reviewed for the third time by the UPR Working Group at the 28th UPR session on 14 November 2017.

One state mentioned Burakumin in their recommendations:

161.205 Strengthen measures so that ethnic minorities — Ainu, Ryukyu and Burakumins — can fully enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights (Peru);

Unfortunately, the recommendation was only partly accepted with a note that ‘Japan recognizes only the Ainu people as indigenous people in Japan’.

See the full Report of the UPR Working Group for more information.

Japan’s second review – 14th session – 31 October 2012

Japan was reviewed for the second time by the UPR Working Group at the 14th UPR session on 31 October 2012

As a final outcome of the review, India noted the issue of the status of the Burakumin and three states made the following recommendations on racial discrimination (as reflected in the final outcome report of the UPR Working Group), Japan accepted the recommendations.

  • 123. India noted the human rights curriculum for public servants. It called for the criminalization of all aspects of child pornography and for an open debate on the issue of the status of the Burakumin and urged the undertaking of stronger anti-trafficking measures. It made recommendations.
  • 147.34. Consider strengthening legislative protection from racial discrimination and discrimination based on sexual orientation (Canada);
  • 147.36. Ensure that the domestic legislation concerning discrimination is consistent with that contained in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) which deals furthermore with all forms of direct or indirect discrimination based on age, sex, religion and sexual orientation (Switzerland);
  • 147.35. Implement the recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to adopt specific legislation to outlaw direct and indirect racial discrimination, and guarantee access to effective protection and remedies through competent national courts (South Africa); (Follow op to the recommendation partly accepted  based on the following explanation:
    • (a) In the case of Japan, Article 14, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution stipulates that all people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination because of race.
    • (b) It is obvious from the provision “by all appropriate means” in Article 2.1 of the ICERD, legislative measures are required, where appropriate and necessary. We do not recognize that the present situation of Japan is one in which discriminative acts cannot be effectively restrained by the existing legal system and in which explicit racial discriminative acts, which cannot be restrained by measures other than legislation, are conducted. Therefore, penalization of these acts is not considered necessary”.)

Japan’s first review – 2nd session – May 2008

Japan was reviewed by the UPR Working Group at its 2nd session in May 2008. In the report of the UPR working group (A/HRC/8/44), the following note was made in the summary of the proceedings;

  • 40. Guatemala noted that racism and discrimination still exist in the Japanese society, indicating that the fight against all forms of discrimination and the protection of minorities, and especially vulnerable groups, required an appropriate legislative framework and therefore urged Japan to consider introducing a definition of discrimination in its criminal law. […]