Kyoto, March 4 (Jiji Press)–Japan has marked 100 years since the founding of an antidiscrimination group that sparked a liberation movement for descendants of Japan’s feudal outcasts.
“We must continue to fight until discrimination is eliminated, keeping Japan’s first declaration of human rights firmly in our hearts,” Shigeyuki Kumisaka, head of the Buraku Liberation League said in a speech at a centennial ceremony in Kyoto on Thursday.
The National Levelers Association was established on March 3, 1922, with the declaration, “Let there be warmth in human society, let there be light in all human beings.”
“We launched a collective movement for human dignity,” Kumisaka, the host of the event, said of the antidiscrimination movement that was the origin of the Buraku Liberation League. “We are proud that the social movement has lasted 100 years.”
Meanwhile, the leader pointed out that discrimination against the descendants of Japan’s feudal outcasts has not been eradicated.
“The flood of discriminatory information on the internet must be stopped at all costs,” he said.
Kumisaka also touched on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying, “War is the biggest form of discrimination and human rights violation.”
The 1922 declaration was read aloud at the ceremony, attended by some 1,000 people.
The event concluded with a new declaration pledging to seek human rights legislation, continue fighting social inequality linked to discrimination, promote efforts to realize the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and implement forward-looking organizational reform.