3rd Quarterly, 2005 No.137

Discriminatory Inquiries into the Location of Property

"I want to know if this address is located in a Dowa district." A real estate company in Otsu City made this telephone inquiry in July 2004 to the Yasu Town Hall regarding a property located in Yasu Town. The president of the company wanted to find out if a property the company had purchased for a business transaction was located in a Buraku. He intended to provide their client, a prospective purchaser, with detailed information on the property. The telephone inquiry was made to the Human Rights Promotion Section of Yasu Town Hall and was subsequently reported to the Shiga Prefectural Association of Buraku Liberation League. BLL Shiga organized three denunciation meetings, concluding on November 22, 2005. The final meeting was attended by 270 people, including the president of the real estate company and representatives from the Shiga Real Estate Transaction Association, the Shiga Chapter of the All Japan Real Estate Federation, Shiga Prefecture, Otsu City, Yasu Town and BLL Shiga.

In his address, the Vice Chairperson of BLL Shiga said, "Why do these kinds of incident occur so frequently? We must deeply analyze this trend to find the correct path to the elimination of Buraku discrimination."

The Deputy Secretary of BLL Shiga observed, "Buraku discrimination is directed not only at the people living in Buraku areas, but also at the areas themselves. Exclusion and avoidance result in the unwarranted devaluation of Buraku land. We are witnessing discriminatory incidents such as this one throughout the country. The discriminatory attitudes present in real estate business transactions are supported by Buraku discrimination in society in general. The question is how to dissolve this discriminatory social attitude." The BLL asked the real estate company, industrial associations, and local governments to take concrete action to resolve the issue. The concerned parties in their own observations shared common recognition and observations regarding the details and background of the incident, the factors contributing to it, and the problems relating to it. However, they were vague about their specific plans of action. The BLL requests that the industry and local governments undertake more concrete and effective measures to resolve the issue.

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