Buraku Liberation News, May 1998 issue (No.102)

The BLRI will Develop into the Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute.

By Kenzo Tomonaga
Director of the BLRI

We will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Buraku Liberation Research Institute in August 1998. The institute was first established as the Osaka City's Research Office for the Dowa Issue belonging to the Office on the Dowa Issue.

In response to the increasing necessity to establish a research institute aimed to resolving the Buraku problem, it evolved into the Osaka Buraku Liberation Research Institute by the joint efforts of researchers, including the late Professors Tomohiko Harada and Yoshinori Morita, and the Buraku Liberation League, as well as the Osaka City and the Osaka Prefectural governments. That institute was located in just a room in the Dowa Hall (Liberation Hall) in Osaka.

As the institute covered many activities, such as research, publishing, and sponsoring lecture courses, while expanding its membership and stabilizing its financial background, the institute was renamed in December 1974 as the present BLRI, authorized by the Board of Education of the Osaka Prefectural Government. The office of BLRI moved to the Buraku Liberation Research and Education Center, located in Naniwaku, Osaka City.

In the late 1970's, we became involved in activities for human rights protection initiated by the UN and started forging solidarity with organizations and individuals fighting discrimination in other countries. In line with this orientation, we started to publish the Buraku Liberation News in 1981 and have actively joined the activities of the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) founded in January 1988.

The following is the present function of our institute. @library and collecting information materials Aresearch, investigation and policy proposals Beducation, training and lecture courses for awareness-raising Cpublication and web page (http://blhrri.org)Dinternational communication.

While we specialize in the Buraku issue, we cover several human rights issues at home and abroad.

On the other hand, as indicated in the opinion offered by the Consultative Council on Regional Improvement Measures in May 1996, and the report submitted by the Osaka Prefectural Dowa Policy Council in December of the same year, the national government and local governments, such as Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City, have proposed a policy that they would try to solve the Buraku problem in connection with solving any other human rights issues.

The BLL, based on the achievement of the liberation movement in the past, adopted policies to find a solution to a complete Buraku Liberation in pursuant to eliminating all forms of discrimination in Japan and the rest of the world. The BLL has entered the third stage of the struggle in a real sense.

In face of the 21st century, we are required to connect the solution of the Buraku discrimination with the elimination of all forms of discrimination as well as the promotion of human rights. With support from many people concerned, we would like to develop into the Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute, in taking the opportunity of our 30th anniversary, based on our achievements in the past.

This year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, this is the fourth year of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education. Considering the situation where there are serious human rights violations at home and abroad, we intend to respond to our historical task by further promoting human rights education.