Ethnic issues in Japan
China / Taiwan
South Korea / North Korea
Total (as of 2007)
A Comment by U.N. Spe-
cial Reporter on Racism
In 2005, a United Nations special rapporteur
on racism and xenophobia expressed con-
cerns about "deep and profound" racism in
Japan and insufficient government recogni-
tion of the problem.
Doudou Diène (Special Rapporteur of the
UN Commission on Human Rights), con-
cluded after an investigation and nine-day
tour of Japan that racial discrimination and
xenophobia in Japan primarily affects three
groups: national minorities, descendants of
former Japanese colonies and foreigners from
other Asian countries. In spite of the wide-
spread belief that Japan is ethnically homo-
geneous, it is probably more accurate to de-
scribe it as a multiethnic society.
Sankei Shimbun, a Japanese national
newspaper, while expressing a support for
combating discrimination, expressed doubt
on the impartiality of the report, pointing out
that Doudou Diène never visited Japan before
and his short tour was arranged by a Japan-
ese NGO, IMADR (International Movement
Against All Forms of Discrimination).
The chairman of the organisation is Pro-
fessor Kinhide Mushakoji (??????), who is a
board member (and the ex director of the
board) of the International Institute of the
whose stated purpose is to propagate the of-
ficial ideology of North Korea.
Foreigners in Japan in 2000 by citizenship.
Source:Japan Statistics Bureau
Only about 1.6% of Japan’s total legal resid-
ent population are foreign nationals. Accord-
ing to 2008 data from the Japanese govern-
ment, the principal groups are as follows.
The above statistic does not include about
30,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in Japan and il-
legal immigrants. Moreover, the statistics do
not reflect minority gro