The Japanese state has long promoted a view of itself, and the country, as ethnically homogeneous. Borrowing on critical race theory as developed in the United States, this paper first traces the numerous laws and policies that Japan has implemented to privilege ethnically Japanese people, and prejudice ethnic others. Next, the paper examines the role of international human rights law in challenging various edifices of the ethno-state, including amendments to legislation, and individual lawsuits. I conclude that international law has played a meaningful role in diversifying the protective ambit of Japanese law, but cannot provide all of the solutions that Japan needs.
Japan, International Law, Ethnicity, Minority Rights, International Law in Domestic Courts
Place of Original Publication
North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation
36 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 557 (2011).
Webster, Timothy, "Insular Minorities: International Law’s Challenge to Japan’s Ethnic Homogeneity" (2011). Faculty Publications. 106.