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The Economist on the National Ainu Museum

The Economist on the National Ainu Museum

Earlier this summer, CEMiPoS Director Hiroshi Maruyama and researchers Masumi Tanaka and Mashiyat Zaman accompanied a journalist and translator from The Economist to Biratori, where they met Fumio Kimura Ekasi and discussed Ainu activists' struggle to retrieve ancestral remains from Upopoy, the National Ainu Museum established last year. Dr. Maruyama was quoted in the article as follows:

A law passed in 2019 bans discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and expands measures to promote Ainu culture, chief among them the creation of Upopoy.

Yet although the old assimilationist policy has been replaced, the new one “does not guarantee any collective rights”, as envisioned by UNDRIP, argues Maruyama Hiroshi of the Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies in Sapporo. Activists lament that the law is toothless to stop discrimination and lacks any apologies for past policies.

Read the rest of the article here.


Photo of Kimura Ekasi taken by Mashiyat Zaman.