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Ainu Keynote Speakers: Yuji Shimizu

Mr. Yuji Shimizu has been heading a movement to return Ainu ancestral remains to their communities from Hokkaido University. In 17 February 2012, he and his allies were refused to see the Rector of Hokkaido University concerning the return of Ainu ancestral remains stolen by its researchers. The Rector never accepted their repeated offers to see them. Finally, they instituted a suit against Hokkaido University for the return of their ancestral remains to their community. In March 2016, the Sapporo district court advised both sides to compromise. After that, a memorial service with great solemnity was performed by Yuji and Ainu persons concerned for some Ainu ancestral remains who could rest in peace in their community. The compromise is followed by other district courts in Hokkaido.

Additionally, he is one of the special advisers to the Citizens’ Alliance for the Examination of Ainu Policy, which Hiroshi Maruyama, principal organiser of the International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples in Sapporo, organised with professor Kunihiko Yoshida at Hokkaido University.