Human Rights in Japan



After the atrocities of the Second World War, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Humans Rights was presented in 1948. The declaration asserts “the inherent dignity and…the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” and reinforced by two multilateral treaties on the international covenants on civil and political rights and on economic, social, and cultural rights in 1966. [2]

For the Japanese society, the concept of human rights began to change after the war, before that the Confucian idea was emphasized in all Japanese culture. In the Imperial prescript of Education of 1890, the young people in school were taught to have loyalty to the Emperor and obedience to one’s parents, and this was regarded to codes of behaviour, and for that reason the individual rights were limited. But during the Meiji Period, which began in 1868, Japan passed for significant political, social, economic and even spiritual reforms, and when the country opened its doors to the world, many Japanese youth were encourage to go abroad. [3]

With the end of the war, the principles of human rights were inserted in the new Japanese Constitution on November, 3, 1946, and also was stipulated that “all the people shall be respected as individuals. Their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs”. With a more open country, individual rights and freedoms were approved in Japan, as was the equality of men and women. Also, the values of social rights of enjoying education and decent living for everyone was added to the concept of human rights. However, despite of the all changes of Japanese Constitution and the implementation of human rights on it, the changes in Japanese society itself took place in a very slowly way, and this because if the Japanese idea of the homogeneous society. For that reason, many Japanese people have the difficulty to identify themselves with the idea as an individual than a member of a group, which enhance group loyalty, despite of the considerable progress made in the area of human rights in Japan after the war.  [4]

One of the pillars of Western democracy is the human rights, and despite of Japan share this value as a member if the Western democracies, on the domestic issues Japan still has been criticized, in particularly regarding the rights of the Ainu, Koreans and other foreign residents and migrants workers in the country. According to the Japanese Workers’ Committee for Human Rights (JWCHR), has reported that human rights have been neglected in workplace in Japan, and included that workers have been discriminated, and also added that the Japanese government has not resolved this issue of war time regarding the comfort women, of relocation and labour enforced on Chinese and Korean people. [5]

Even though, Japan has tried to change that with creation of discrimination laws, Japanese employment discrimination has not been effective to end the discrimination. In the Japanese culture seems that business interests are more important and superior to human rights to equality, therefore in the case of employment policy and human rights approaches were intermingled in Japanese employment discrimination law. [6]

Here is a video about the Japan’s migrant training program exploits foreigners


4 comentários sobre “Human Rights in Japan

  1. Historically, Japanese had so many violations when they occupied my home country, the Philippines, with the comfort women, the soldiers, the citizens and how much maltreatment they have done and it still remains a pain to hear about it. Japan has already made “payments” to those abused and victims of the violations, but it does not really erase the facts. In the blog, the Japanese discrimination may be traced from the culture. I think how the Japanese culture probably is male-dominated driven, which for me says alot about why they prioritize business interests. Stricter guidelines and enforcement of the discrimination laws need to be addressed.


  2. History of Japan in human rights is not the best, and obviously this still continues. It is very clear that male culture is still driving the country. Human rights in Japan, not only for Japanese people, but also for migrants is very difficult, gender equality and human rights are not working good yet. Still abuses and different violations of human rights are affected by their government.


  3. The videos shows violation of human right in Japan. Japan is exploiting labors from China and other countries who comes to work there. Though Japan has developed a lot in economic field, it stills need to improve in human right aspect as well.


  4. Japan is exploiting their worker and creating huge difference between Japanese and others. Human rights have been neglected in the work place and discrimination is also created. Video shows the exploitation and human right violation and how they treat the workers from china and other country and difference between what they said and reality.


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