• SHARE

A member of the Hokkaido prefectural assembly stirred another controversy by stating that it is “highly questionable” that the Ainu are an indigenous people of northern Japan. His statement is an insult to the Ainu people, who are making efforts to preserve their identity and cultural tradition, and ignores steps taken by the national government to help the Ainu in accordance with the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Such a statement could disseminate disinformation about the Ainu and their history and even foment prejudice against them.

It would not be far-fetched to say that the view expressed in the assemblyman’s statement — characterized by a failure to recognize the sufferings that a minority group like the Ainu has experienced — shares the same root as the problem of hate speech against Korean residents in Japan.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW