UCCJ holds National Congress for Buraku Liberation

The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) held the eighth National Congress for Buraku Liberation from July 1st through 3rd in Saitama Prefecture. It was for the first time that the National Congress was convened in Eastern Japan. Over the three day congress, 200 participants from all over Japan reported about activities that are being carried out in their respective regions, listened to an appeal from Mr. Kazuo Ishikawa regarding his innocence and a talk by the headquarters of the BLL regarding the current circumstances surrounding the Sayama trial, and conducted field studies in the prefecture's Buraku communities, national sanatorium for Hansen's disease and in other areas with regard to issues such as the forced migration of Koreans. On the last day of the meetings, the three-day discussion was concluded and a plan of action was proposed. This plan comprises of: 1) collecting signatures calling for a retrial of the Sayama case, 2) making full use of the "Buraku Liberation Principles", 3) sharing what was learned in the meeting with others, 4) promoting study on the Buraku issue at churches and other places, and 5) speaking out when encountering Buraku discrimination rather than remaining silent.

The United Church of Christ in Japan set up the Buraku Liberation Center in 1981 to strengthen its commitment to Buraku liberation and approved the "Buraku Liberation Principles" as its own guide for Buraku liberation in 2000.

(Summary from Kaiho Shimbun (Liberation News) No.2080, August 5, 2002)