NGO Report in Response to the First and Second Report Prepared by the Government of Japan Concerning CERD

Buraku Liberation League (BLL)

Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute

(Continuation from BLN No.120

Article 5 (Equality Before the Law and the Enjoyment of Rights Without Discrimination)

Paragraph (e): In November 1975, the "Buraku Lists" scandal was discovered (Data 10-1,10-2 *). In June 1998, the "Discriminatory Personal Investigation" conducted by the Nihon IB and the Rick private investigative agencies was disclosed (Data 11). In both cases there was an intention to prevent Buraku people from being employed by private companies. In Japan, there are no laws or regulations that prohibit discriminatory screening of Buraku people with regard to employment in the private sector so there is an urgent need to introduce such a law. For reference, Japan has not yet ratified ILO Convention No. 111 that prohibits discrimination in employment and occupation.




v) There has been a clear gap in academic achievement between Buraku and non-Buraku people (Data 12). There has also been a high illiteracy rate among Buraku people. (Data13**) Furthermore, there has been an apparent difference in the rate of entrance into higher education between Buraku and non-Buraku children (Data 14). It is urged that literacy activities should be promoted and that scholarship programs for Buraku children should be improved. With the advancement of IT, it is also urged that the use of the Internet among Buraku children should be promoted in order to avoid a possible digital divide. According to the Survey to Find the Actual Conditions of Buraku Communities, conducted by the Osaka Prefectural Government in 2000, the percentage of personal computer possession and Internet usage among Buraku people is half that of non-Buraku people. (PC possession: 36% national average vs. 16.9% Buraku communities; Use of Internet: 28.9% national average vs. 14.4% Buraku communities)


Paragraph (f)

Data 10-1

Denunciation Struggle against the "Buraku Lists"

The "Buraku Lists" were first disclosed in the end of 1975. Since then, through the efforts of investigation and fact-finding by the Buraku Liberation League and government agencies concerned, nine different types of "Buraku Lists" and as many as 220 purchasers have been identified by January 1996. (Data10-2*)

A "Buraku List" is a book containing information on the names and locations, the number of households and major occupations of Buraku communities. These lists were sold at 5,000 yen to 45,000 yen for one copy. They were published by private investigative and detective agencies. Most of the purchasers were private companies.

During the investigation to know the motives of publication and the purchase of the lists, it has been made clear that "Buraku Lists" were published and purchased for discriminatory screening, such as in employment and marriage. It was disclosed that "Buraku Lists" were traded as a "counter-measure" to the rising trend of Buraku liberation movement that brought about the unified job-application form for high school students and the restriction of the perusal of family registers.

Though twenty years have already passed since the "Buraku Lists" were disclosed, the whole picture of the scandal has not been revealed until today. As recent cases, information on the locations of Buraku communities in Osaka and Wakayama Prefectures were disseminated through the packet communication in February 1984 and July 1993, and a copy of "Buraku List" was collected from a company based in Osaka in May 1996.

By looking into the motives of the companies which bought "Buraku Lists", it was also disclosed that discriminatory practices in employment had been shrewdly done, in addition to obtaining the "Buraku List"; They recruited students only from designated schools, and used the applicant form made by themselves that have discriminatory questionnaires and tried to know the personal background of the applicants as much as possible through interviews and examinations.

Being strongly denounced, the companies which bought the lists have repented. Companies, such as based in Tokyo and Osaka, have formed federations to commit themselves to eliminating Buraku discrimination. Since 1977, by the instruction of the Ministry of Labour, companies with more than one hundred employees have to assign a staff member to promote Dowa education as an in-house training.

Osaka Prefecture enacted the Ordinance to Regulate Personal Background Investigation Conductive to Buraku Discrimination in 1985. Similar ordinances have been enacted in Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Kagawa and Tokushima Prefectures. Efforts to eliminate "Buraku Lists" have been accumulated.

("Buraku Mondai Shiryo to Kaisetsu 3rd edition" edited and published by the Kaiho Shuppansha June 1981)

Data 11

Discriminatory investigation incident caused by the Nihon IB and the Rick

In June 1998, it was disclosed that two investigative agencies, Nihon IB (parent company) and Rick (subsidiary), had conducted discriminatory investigation, such as identifying the Buraku origin of a job applicant.

The incident was made known when the two agencies voluntarily reported their discriminatory inquiries to the Buraku Liberation League Osaka (BLL Osaka) that tried to find out the fact. On July 1, they submitted information, including a list of their 1,400 clients, including public corporations, in response to the request of the BLL Osaka.

On July 2, the Osaka Prefectural Government entered and inspected the investigative agencies on suspicion of violating the 1985 Prefectural Ordinance to Regulate Personal Background Investigation Conductive to Buraku Discrimination. The parent company acted as a business consultant firm and the subsidiary took on the discriminatory investigation.

While the clients seemingly asked the agencies for management consulting as a member of the parent company, many of them registered for the purpose of getting information including the background of their job applicants.

In fact, it was found out through the fact-finding sessions that 70 to 80 percent of the entire contract of the parent company was undertaken by the subsidiary.

According to the findings from the 6 times fact- finding sessions held by the BLL Osaka from July to October 1998, the agencies received copies of the curriculum vitae of job applicants for the clients and conducted investigation regarding Buraku origin, ethnic background, nationality, ideology, religion, reputation and political affiliation.

After taking several factors into consideration, they made ranks from A to D (A: excellent, B: ordinary, C: attention is needed, D: advisable not to hire). If an applicant lives in a Buraku community, they put a mark * without rating.

In order to avoid the reoccurrence of such discriminatory investigations, practices and systems in society should be reformed as below:

Drastic measures should be taken to improve the business ethics of investigating firms and to eliminate the discriminatory nature in investigation; Comprehensive measures should be taken by concerned government agencies to avoid similar incidents. A national law should be enacted to regulate discriminatory investigation and provide remedial measures; the business sector should take a drastic action in relation to employment; and social practices that bring about discriminatory investigations should be changed.

By Suehiro Kitaguchi

("Buraku Mondai - Jinken Jiten" edited by the BLHRRI, published by the Kaiho Shuppansha)

Data 12

Educational Achievement of Buraku People
Never enrolled in school Finished primary education Finished secondary education Finished higher education Unidentified
Buraku .“ .“ .“ .“ .“
1993 3.8 55.3 32.3 7.6 1.1
1985 1.5 64 28.2 5.7 0.6
National 1990 0.2 31.6 45.4 21.2 1.6

*1993 Survey to Grasp the Actual Conditions of Dowa Areas conducted by the Policy Office of Regional Improvement of the Management and Coordination Agency

*1985 Buraku data is taken from the Survey to Grasp the Actual Conditions Regarding Regional Enlightenment

*1990 National data is from the National Census.

Data 14

Enrollment in School of Buraku People

High School & Public Vocational School

School Year National average Buraku areas Disparity
1963 66.80% 30.00% 36.80%
1967 74.5 51.1 23.4
1971 85 72.8 12.2
1975 91.9 87.5 4.4
1979 94 89 5
1983 94 86.6 7.4
1985 94.1 87.3 6.8
1986 94.2 87.9 6.3
1987 94.3 88.3 6
1988 94.5 89.2 5.3
1989 94.7 89.5 5.2
1990 95.1 89.6 5.5
1991 95.4 90.2 5.2
1992 95.9 91.2 4.7
1993 96.2 91.9 4.3
1994 96.5 92 4.5
1995 96.7 92.4 4.3
1996 96.6 92.3 4.3
1997 96.5 92 4.5

University & Junior College

School Year National average Buraku areas Disparity
1979 37.40% 14.20% 23.20%
1980 37.4 15.8 21.6
1981 36.9 16.8 20.1
1982 36.3 17.6 18.7
1983 35.1 16.5 18.6
1984 35.6 16.7 18.9
1985 30.5 19.1 11.4
1986 30.3 19.1 11.2
1987 31 19.3 11.7
1988 30.9 19.3 11.6
1989 30.6 19.8 10.8
1990 30.5 19.7 10.8
1991 31.6 19.9 11.7
1992 32.7 20.8 11.9
1993 34.5 22.6 11.9
1994 36.1 24.3 11.8
1995 37.6 24.7 12.9
1996 39 26.5 12.5
1997 40.7 28.6 12.1

The supplementary data referred to by "*" and "**" have been omitted due to a lack of space.