Civil Society Report on the Implementation of the ICERD

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This Report is prepared by the NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, or ERD Net, which is a nationwide network among NGOs and individuals working for the issues relating to racism, racial discrimination and colonialism in Japan. As one of its main activities, ERD Net coordinates and facilitates NGO active participation in the process of the CERD consideration of the Japan’s periodic report.

As part of our main activities, ERD Net has prepared the NGO report. This report consists of two parts. One is about the issue of “hate speech” in relation to the reservation of Article 4 (a) and (b), and which requires an immediate action to address, and the other is about issues involving minority communities in Japan including Buraku, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities and migrants.

Since the last CERD consideration of the Japan’s periodic reports in 2010, the ERD Net has continually approached the government to have direct communications about the issues pointed out by the Committee in its Concluding Observations, asking for the government’s actions for the implementation of recommendations. In fact, we have had seven meetings with the government agencies relevant to the issues that CERD recommendations raised and NGOs joining the ERD Net have been working for.

Through several meetings and dialogues with the government, not much has come out as positive results. The government was not keen to invite NGOs in the process of the preparation of the 7th to 9th periodic report which is to be considered by CERD shortly. NGOs were invited to the one-time hearing organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012, but we did not know how our opinions raised during the hearing have been received and reflected in the periodic reports.

Furthermore, the government has not been keen to implement CERD recommendations. Besides the Report, we have made the list to show the progress of government’s implementation of the recommendations in the 2010 Concluding Observations, based on our evaluation.

We hope that our information will be taken into due consideration of the Committee in its review over the Japan’s implementation of the Convention and recommendations.

NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Japan (ERD Net)

June 18, 2014

Download full report here