Timothy Webster


This paper examines a number of lawsuits challenging racial discrimination in Japan’s private sector. Since Japan does not have a law banning private acts of racial discrimination, victims of racial discrimination invoke international human rights law to buttress their claims for compensation. I argue that Japanese judges are, by and large, receptive to these international law claims, but that the system for adjudicating racial discrimination disputes is inadequate. Specifically, a law that bans private acts of racial discrimination would put Japan in line with recently emergent global norms of equality.


human rights, racial discrimination, ethnic others, international law, domestic application

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Michigan Journal of International Law

Publication Information

30 Michigan Journal of International Law 211 (2008)


COinS Timothy Webster Faculty Bio