Sunday, 22 November 2009

Japan up for review on human rights

Ever since signing up to the treaty on the elimination of racial discrimination (CERD) in 1996, the Japanese government commited to submitting reports every two years detailing measures they've taken to tackle domestic racial discrimination. Up until now, the Japanese government has been very bad at living up to its obligations, submitting only its first and second reports together in 2000. The UN wants reports three to six and have a few questions they want answered before the next session of the committee begins in  February 2010.

My current position is that the government of Japan has not taken its treaty obligations under CERD at all seriously, so I'm curious to see how the Hatoyama administration handles this one. From what interaction I've had with leaders of human and minority rights NGOs in Japan, I think their advice to me would be "keep your expectations modest".

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