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Last Updated: Monday, 11 July, 2005, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Japan racism 'deep and profound'
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Japanese commuters, Tokyo
Only about 1% of Japan's population is registered as foreign
An independent investigator for the UN says racism in Japan is deep and profound, and the government does not recognise the depth of the problem.

Doudou Diene, a UN special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia, was speaking at the end of a nine-day tour of the country.

He said Japan should introduce new legislation to combat discrimination.

Mr Diene travelled to several Japanese cities during his visit, meeting minority groups and touring slums.


He said that although the government helped to organise his visit, he felt many officials failed to recognise the seriousness of the racism and discrimination minorities suffered.

He was also concerned that politicians used racist or nationalist themes, as he put it, to whip up popular emotions. He singled out the treatment of ethnic Koreans and Chinese and indigenous tribes.

Mr Diene says he plans to recommend that Japan enact a law against discrimination, which he said should be drawn up in consultation with minority groups.

He said he would now wait for the Japanese government to respond to his comments before submitting a report to the United Nations.