The Ainu celebrated a historic moment Friday as the Diet unanimously passed a resolution that recognizes them as indigenous people of Japan.

The unprecedented resolution was adopted by both chambers, acknowledging the Ainu's hardships from discrimination and poverty.

"This is a historical event for us because the past injustices were finally put to an end," said Tadashi Kato, chairman of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido, who came to Tokyo to hear the Diet resolution from the gallery. "I am so thankful that the light has shone on us," he said, his voice full of emotion.