Insular Minorities: International Law's Challenge to Japan's Ethnic Homogeneity

37 Pages Posted: 25 May 2011 Last revised: 26 Apr 2014

See all articles by Timothy Webster

Timothy Webster

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Japan, International Law, Ethnicity, Minority Rights, International Law in Domestic Courts

Suggested Citation

Webster, Timothy, Insular Minorities: International Law's Challenge to Japan's Ethnic Homogeneity (May 24, 2011). 36 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 557 (2011).; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1851550

Timothy Webster (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States

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