chapter  12
13 Pages

Race, ethnicity, and minorities in modern Japan

ByRichard Siddle

Scholarship on Japanese minorities is coming of age. The last 20 years have seen a wealth of English language studies devoted to shattering the “illusion of homogeneity” (Weiner 2009 ). Academic discourse now celebrates (perhaps optimistically) Japan’s “multicultural” diversity and hybridity. International recognition of Japan’s multiethnic composition and, consequently, issues of human rights are also inescapable. After a short visit to Japan in July 2005, Dr. Doudou Diène, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, published a critical report (heavily infl uenced by input from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and minority activists) detailing “racial discrimination and xenophobia in Japan” (Diène 2006 : 2).