Race, ethnicity, and minorities in modern Japan

Authored by: Richard Siddle

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  April  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415436496
eBook ISBN: 9780203818459
Adobe ISBN: 9781136736278


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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 influenced by input from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and minority activists) detailing “racial discrimination and xenophobia in Japan” (Diène 2006: 2).

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