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Report of the 
Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies

Prime Minister
Sato Eisaku

President of the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies

Kimura Chūjirō

On December 7, 1961, with the 194th Council between the Prime Minister and the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies (Sōshin), we have consulted on the "Basic measures to solve the social and economic problems related to dōwa areas" and the results of this discussion are reported in the attachment.

Notes:

  • Items in [] are added by me

  • Items in () that are written in Romaji are transcriptions of the original Japanese words/names/titles

  • If some words that are supposed to be cursive but are not, my apologies. (When you copy text into the web editor, it resets everything...)

  • Also, I tried to preserve the original format with its spacing but due to the large amount of text, I had to cramp it more. I hope it doesn't look too bad

  • Some translations might sound weird because I did most of them. There are few I wasn't able to translate so I left them as they were

  • If you can point out mistakes, please feel free to let me know

With the help of DeepL Translate.

Preamble

On 7 December 1961, the Prime Minister consulted the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies [hereinafter as Council] on the "Basic measures to solve the social and economic problems related to dōwa areas ". Needless to say, the dōwa issue is a problem concerning human freedom and equality, which are universal principles of mankind, and a matter of fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan. Therefore, the Council made efforts to find measures based on the understanding that it is absolutely unacceptable to leave the issue unresolved, and that an urgent solution is the responsibility of the state and at the same time a national issue. Meanwhile, the Council, in view of the importance of the issue, extended the period of its existence twice, and conducted surveys of the actual situation in the whole country and in specific districts to ascertain the actual situation in the dōwa areas. The results of these investigations were, as the attached report shows, extremely worrying, and the Council reaffirmed the importance of promptly improving the economic situation and living conditions of the residents of the areas concerned and ensuring that they can live as equal citizens of Japan.

Deliberations have therefore been extremely careful, with 42 plenary meetings, 121 subcommittees and 21 subcommittees.

Nevertheless, at the present stage it is difficult to make concrete reports on all the measures. However, as the solution to the problem is urgent and we cannot afford to waste more time, we have decided to respond to the consultation with the following conclusions.

At this moment, the government has issued a basic policy for social development, and we are about to see major socio-economic changes accompanying rapid economic growth. At the same time, the spirit of human respect is being emphasised and new measures are being promoted in politics and administration. This is certainly the ideal opportunity to solve the dōwa issue.

We hope and expect that the government will respect the spirit of this report, implement effective and appropriate measures, and take all possible measures to drastically solve the issue, wipe out the shameful social evil and bring an end to the long history of discrimination that should never have existed.

Part 1:
Recognition of the dōwa issue

1 The reality of the dōwa issue

The so-called dōwa issue is a serious and critical social problem in which some groups of Japanese citizens are placed in a low economic, social and cultural status due to discrimination based on the status hierarchical structure formed in the process of the historical development of Japanese society, and even in modern society, their basic human rights are still severely violated, in particular, their civil rights and freedoms guaranteed to all people as a principle of modern society are not assured.

It is characterised by the fact that many citizens form communal settlements in certain areas due to discrimination as a social reality. Recently, an increasing number of people have left these settlements to live in “normal” neighbourhoods, but they are also subjected to status discrimination, both behind the scenes and in the community, because they are from the “traditional settlements”. In the past, the inhabitants of these settlements were referred to by derogatory terms such as “special buraku” (tokushu buraku), “backward buraku” (kōshin buraku) or poor buraku (saimin buraku) and were subject to distinct discrimination.

There are various theories about the origins and history of these “unliberated buraku” (mikaihō buraku) or “dōwa-related areas” (dōwa kankei chiku) (hereinafter simply “dōwa areas”), including theories of racial, religious, occupational and political origins. However, it is not the task of this Council to academically investigate the origins of the dōwa areas. However, in order to break down public prejudice, it must be clearly stated that the inhabitants of the dōwa areas are neither a different race nor a different ethnic group but are without doubt Japanese people and Japanese nationals.

In other words, the dōwa issue is an issue of a minority group among the Japanese people and Japanese citizens who are subject to status discrimination. Dōwa areas are settlements that were formed in the late medieval or early modern period by settling down and living in a certain area under the political, economic and social conditions of feudal society.

Under the status system of the feudal society, the inhabitants of the dōwa areas were defined as the lowest class and were severely discriminated against in all aspects of social life, including occupation, housing, marriage, social interaction and clothes, and their personalities were shunned as something other than human. However, the changes of the Meiji Restoration provided an opportunity for a major historical shift for the dōwa area residents. In other words, dōwa area residents were freed from institutionalised status discrimination by the edict No. 61 of the Grand Council of State (Daijōkan), promulgated on 28 August 1871. In this sense, it can be said that, historically, the dōwa issue has been in the process of being resolved from the modern era after the Meiji Restoration. However, the Edict of the Grand Council of State was only a formal emancipation decree. It merely abolished derogatory terms and declared that status and occupation would be treated like those of commoners, but it did not guarantee substantial emancipation in terms of actual social relations. In other words, no policy was implemented to practically liberate the dōwa area residents, who were pressured into the lowest strata of the status hierarchy of feudal society and subjected to inhuman rights and extreme poverty, from the discrimination and poverty they faced. Therefore, even after the Meiji Restoration, the reality of discrimination remained almost unchanged, and the dōwa area residents continued to live in despair under the same miserable conditions as in the feudal era.

Later, in the Taishō era, when the rice riots broke out, many dōwa area residents took part in them in various regions. This was followed by the independent liberation movement of the National Levelers’ Society (Zenkoku Suiheisha), which finally led to the recognition of the importance of the dōwa issue. In other words, the government began to improve the environment in the areas under the name of local improvement funds (chihō kaizen hi), which were newly included in the national budget. However, these partial improvements could not achieve a fundamental solution to the dōwa issue, and the residents of the dōwa area have been left in a state of poverty amidst discrimination.

Japan's industrial economy has a structural characteristic known as a “dual structure” (nijū kōzō). On the one hand, there are large modern enterprises, which have advanced to the level of developed countries, and on the other hand, there are small and medium-sized enterprises and micro business agriculture, which are lagging behind the developed countries. There is a qualitative fault line between these two areas, with a large gap between the large enterprises at the top and the micro-enterprises at the bottom.

Among these, the industrial economy of the dōwa areas forms the lowest end of the spectrum, forming a non-modern sector that has been left out of the development of the country's economy.

These characteristics of the economic structure are directly reflected in the social structure. In other words, our society has the character of a modern civil society on the one hand, but on the other hand it has the character of a pre-modern caste society. The old traditional communal relations still survive today, and people are not fully independent as individuals, but are bound by traditions and customs, preventing them from acting of their own free will.

In addition, the feudal hierarchical status system remains, relationships of status hierarchy and domination and subordination can be seen everywhere in society, such as in patriarchal family relationships, village customs where family origin and rank are respected, and the joining of parent and offspring in various group clans.

Furthermore, in the spiritual and cultural fields, old-fashioned superstitions, irrational prejudices, and old-fashioned attitudes have persisted, forming a unique spiritual climate and ethnic character.

This social, economic, and cultural system of our country is the historical and social basis for the persistence of the dōwa issue and underlays the buraku discrimination.

Therefore, despite the remarkable changes of the social situation in Japan in the post-war period, and the progress made not only in the democratisation of the political system but also in the modernisation of society, economy and culture based on high economic growth, the dōwa issue has remained unresolved.

Still, some people believe that the dōwa issue is a problem of the past and no longer exists in today's democratised and modernised Japan.

However, the existence of this problem is based on objective facts that transcend subjectivity.

Like all social phenomena, the dōwa issue is nothing more than a historical phenomenon that arises, grows, and disappears at certain stages in the historical development of human society.

Therefore, it is not reasonable to assume that the dōwa issue will never be solved, no matter what era comes along or how society changes. Nor can we agree with the assertion that if the dōwa issue is left as it is, it will be resolved at any time as society evolves, based on the idea of “don't wake up the sleeping children” (neta ko o okosuna).

Indeed, buraku discrimination is a semi-feudal status discrimination, which exists implicitly or explicitly in our society and manifests itself in a wide variety of forms. It can be divided into psychological (shinri teki sabetsu) and real discrimination (jittai teki sabetsu).

Psychological discrimination is discrimination latent in people's conceptions and consciousness, which is manifested through language, writing and action. For example, in language and writing, discrimination is manifested through contempt when writing about the low feudal classes, or in behaviour such as refusing a relationship or breaking off an engagement due to irrational prejudice or feelings of hatred. Real discrimination refers to discrimination that is embodied in the actual living conditions of the residents of the dōwa areas. For example, discrimination is embodied in the various phenomena pointed out as characteristics of the dōwa districts, such as equal opportunities for employment and education not practically guaranteed, the right to participate in politics, in elections and other occasions denied, general administrative measures not applied to them, and is manifested in the poor living conditions, special and low occupational structure, high welfare rates several times higher than the average, exceptionally low educational standards, and an remarkably low level of education and culture.

Psychological and real discrimination interact with each other in a mutually causal relationship. In other words, psychological discrimination causes real discrimination and vice versa. This correlation repeats a vicious circle that reproduces discrimination.

In other words, discrimination against the buraku in modern society is, to put it simply, a violation of civil rights and freedoms. Civil rights and freedoms include the freedom to choose one's occupation, the right to equal opportunity in education, the freedom of residence and relocation, and the freedom to marry, etc., and the fact that these rights and freedoms are not fully guaranteed to residents of the dōwa areas constitutes discrimination. Among these civil rights and freedoms, the fact that the freedom of choice of occupation, i.e., equal opportunity for work, is not fully guaranteed, is particularly serious. Looking back in history, this is because dōwa area residents were marginalised from the production process of the major industries of their time and engaged in miscellaneous lowly occupations which was a factor that hindered their rise in social status and the path to emancipation, and this remains the case even in contemporary society. Therefore, the central issue in solving the dōwa issue is to guarantee equal opportunities for employment and education to the dōwa area residents and to lead the stagnant overpopulation in the dōwa area into the production process of modern major industries, thereby stabilising their lives and improving their status.

The above clarification will help us to understand that buraku discrimination is not a ghost of a mere concept but is a real phenomenon in real society. Unless any measures to address the dōwa issue are based on the above understanding of the problem, it will be difficult to achieve a fundamental solution to the dōwa issue, let alone the full partial effect of individual administrative measures.

2 The overview of the dōwa issue

(1) Factual investigations and the dōwa issue

The Council set up a survey subcommittee and conducted basic surveys on the dōwa areas (hereinafter referred to as ‘areas' (chiku)) as of 1 January 1963 as part of the 1962 survey.

Until now, the Ministry of Home Affairs prepared the National Buraku Statistics (Zenkoku Buraku Tōkei Hyō) in 1921, and in the beginning of the Shōwa era, surveys were conducted by the Central Association for Dōwa Projects (Chūō Yūwa Jigyō Kyōkai) in 1935 and by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 1958 (amended in 1959). In 1959, the Ministry of Education conducted a survey on the number of schoolchildren and schools. However, each of these was designed to answer a specific purpose and did not necessarily provide comprehensive results in terms of district location, number of households, population, occupation, etc. However, through the results of this survey, it can be noted that: (a.) Many of the residents live mixed with the general population both inside and outside the areas; (b.) In the case of urban dōwa areas, it has become difficult to identify them specifically, as they have become more and more like general areas. For this reason, several prefectures could not be surveyed this time. It is undeniable that this is also due to differences in the perception of the dōwa issue by local administrative bodies.

The reasons for the difficulty in quantitatively understanding the situation in comparison with previous surveys are a) the dispersion of the population of the areas due to evacuation after the war, etc.; b) the reallocation of the population within the area due to land readjustment / town planning; c) the regional mixing with low-income neighbourhoods (slums) in general.

In non-urban areas, a) Population movements due to social and economic changes have led to the displacement of area residents, in particular, the increasing tendency to leave villages in rural areas is noted. Secondly, b. due to the popularisation of democratic ideas after the war, there has been an increase in the number of mixed livings with the population of the general areas.

Therefore, it is extremely difficult to accurately identify the location of dōwa areas throughout the country, and it must be fully recognised that there are significant numbers of related residents outside of them. The importance of the dōwa issue at the present time is not only a phenomenon that can be viewed quantitatively and in terms of areas. The problem is the discriminatory reality itself, which is deeply rooted and latent in all aspects of the Japanese social system.

The essential issue concerning the dōwa issue is, in short, “buraku discrimination” itself. It is a fact that the sense of status discrimination has persisted in poor living conditions. Although the new Constitution has given new meaning to the fundamental human rights of the people and the democratisation of the social system appears to be making some progress, the people connected to the dōwa areas have to live under the buraku discrimination. This can be seen from the results of a detailed survey conducted by the Council together with the basic surveys. At the same time, it must also be pointed out that even within the seemingly equal social system of employment, schooling and marriage, there are still thick walls of discrimination, and that even among the public, prejudice remains against the areas and its residents, based on feelings, attitudes, awareness and ideology.

Therefore, the focus that the Council had to objectively view as a fact of buraku discrimination, was not the subjective discriminatory words and deeds that are often raised as social problems, but rather the environment itself, which leaves the dōwa areas unresolved (due to being an area), compared to the living conditions and general social and economic standards in general areas.

The devastation of the physical environment, including population, housing overcrowding, roads, water supply and sewerage systems, and residential patterns, in the dōwa area is extremely striking. This is not unrelated to the fact that occupational options are restricted, and the commuting area is narrow. In other words, the blockading /closed-off nature of the areas means that life (seikatsu) has lost its potential for improvement, and a self-protective environment has been created in which collectivisation is unavoidable to prevent the downfall of the areas. There, 'poverty' coexists as a result of 'discrimination'. Dōwa areas are often equated with general low-income areas / neighbourhoods, but this is not always the correct perception. What differentiates them from general low-income areas / neighbourhoods is that the existence of buraku discrimination means that people have to live there, and that living there imposes restrictions on their livelihood activities. Furthermore, the reality is that some areas are also excluded from the administration (gyōsei). In other words, the conclusion reached by the survey is that the reality of discrimination against the buraku attracts poor living conditions and causes environmental degradation.

The elimination of buraku discrimination cannot be solved simply by ideologically addressing the causes and traditions that lead to prejudice. It must be recognised that what perpetuates this is in the social system.

 

(2) The general situation according to the basic surveys

The Diet, through the prefectures and with the cooperation of the municipalities concerned, conducted a basic survey to ascertain the current conditions of the wa areas. According to the results, the number of dōwa areas nationwide is 4,160, the number of households in the areas is 407,279, the total population in the areas is 1,869,748, of which the population in the areas is 1,113,043, the dōwa areas population rate in the districts is 60% and the dōwa areas population per 1,000 population nationwide is 11.8 persons.

Comparing this with the results of previous surveys, the number of areas is higher than in the 1958 survey but lower than in the 1935 and 1921 surveys, while the dōwa areas population is conversely lower than in the 1958 survey (corrected by the 1959 survey) and higher than in the 1935 survey. In other words,

 Survey of 1962:

  • Number of the areas 4,160

  • Population 1,113,043

Survey of 1958:

  • Number of areas 4,133

  • Population: 1,220,157

Survey of 1935

  • Number of areas 5,365

  • Population: 999,687

Survey of 1921

  • Number of areas 4,853

  • Population: 829,773
     

As already mentioned, it is not appropriate to quantitatively determine the increase or decrease in the number of areas or the population by comparison. This is because the definition of a dōwa area as an unit adopted in the survey differs from previous ones. In other words, the definition adopted by the Council is “those areas that are generally considered to a dōwa area in the locality concerned”, whereas in the 1958 survey, the definition was “those areas that are generally considered to be in need of dōwa measures”.

Secondly, the survey this time was conducted by a public institution, so there could be a difference in the background as to whether or not the survey was taking up dōwa administrative measures, and thus areas that are no longer clearly recognisable as such due to the administrative policy of “don't wake up the sleeping children” or because they have become mixed residential areas with the general population are excluded.

Considering all these factors together, the number of dōwa areas and its population identified in this survey are thought to be lower than the actual figures.

In fact, the prefectures of Iwate, Miyazaki, Yamagata, Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Miyazaki were not reported in this survey. However, separate information confirms the existence of dōwa areas [in those previous mentioned prefectures], and the same is true for Osaka, where 52 districts were reported in this survey, and Fukushima, where two districts were reported.

 

(a) Situation by prefecture

In terms of the number of dōwa areas by prefecture, the highest number was 414 in Hiroshima Prefecture, followed by Hyōgo, Okayama, Ehime, and Fukuoka with over 300 areas, while in Gunma, Saitama and Nagano the numbers ranged between 200-300, and those with 10 or fewer areas were Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Aichi, Saga and Nagasaki. Eight prefectures did not report the number of dōwa areas: the Tōhoku prefectures (excluding Hokkaidō and Fukushima), Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Miyazaki prefectures.

Osaka and Hyōgo Prefectures have the largest number of households in the dōwa areas with 45,000 each, and the total population in the areas show a distribution almost parallel to the number of households but Hyōgo Prefecture has the largest dōwa population with 163,546, Fukuoka Prefecture 114,482, Okayama Prefecture 58,635, Nara Prefecture 56,130, Mie 48,238, Wakayama 46,316, Ehime 44,685, Kochi 43,552 and Saitama 41,496, followed by Toyama, Ishikawa and Nagasaki prefectures with a dōwa district population of less than 1,000.

The proportion of the buraku population to the total population in the dōwa area, i.e., the mixed living ratio (konjū ritsu), is 60% on average nationwide, but varies considerably from prefecture to prefecture.

The ratio of the buraku population to the total population is 11.8:1,000, the highest being 72.1 in Nara, followed by 52.3 in Kochi, but the ratio also exceeds 40 in Shiga, Hyogo, Wakayama, Tottori, and Tokushima prefectures.

(b) Situation by region

In terms of distribution by region, more than a quarter of the country's 4,160 districts (1,059) are in the Chūgoku region, followed by 648 in Kantō, 975 in Kinki, 553 in Shikoku, 521 in Kyūshū and 363 in Chūbu, 39 in Hokuriku and 2 in Tohoku (see note on next table).

Looking at the distribution of the number of households within the dōwa areas, 159,069 households, or 37% of the 407,279 households nationwide, are in the Kinki Region, while Chūkoku, which has the largest number of districts, has 57,764 households, with Kanto, Chūbu and Kyūshū each having between 50,000 and 60,000 households.

The dōwa area population is concentrated in the Kinki region, with 498,061 or 45% of the nation's total of 1,113,043, while Chūkoku had more than 150,000, Kanto, Shikoku and Kyūshū are between 100,000 and 150,000, and Hokuriku had 7,021.

The concentration of the district population in and around the Kinki area, as described above, indicates the underlying factor that the dōwa area population had to live in subordination to the feudal social system.

(c) Distribution of dōwa areas by size of households.

The distribution of dōwa areas by size of households is the largest in areas with less than 200 households (28.8%), with 21.5% of areas with 20-39 households and only 2.7% of areas with more than 500 households. In other words, approximately 50% of all dōwa areas in the country are areas with less than 40 households, and the remaining approximately half are also areas with 40-99 households.

(d) Status of mixed living (konjū).

It is a general trend that mixed living has been observed due to the abolition and separation of cities, towns and villages, the trend towards urbanisation and the transformation of dōwa areas into slums in large cities. Some of the mixed livings have become so advanced that they are no longer covered by the fact-finding survey.

On average, the proportion of dōwa residents to the total population in dōwa areas nationwide was 60%.

The percentage of dōwa residents by prefecture, i.e., the proportion of dōwa residents divided by the total population in the dōwa area, averaged 60% nationwide, but was 100% in Nara and Ehime prefectures, 90-99% in nine prefectures, 50-89% in 11 prefectures, and 10-49% in 14 prefectures. In general, with one or two exceptions, the proportion of the dōwa population in the Shikoku and Kinki region is high, while in the Kantō and Chūbu region this proportion is low.

(e) Employment status

Due to the difficulty of the survey, the employment status is based on the proportion of day labourers, permanent workers, and self-employed persons (including family workers).

Day labourers represent 28.2% of all areas with less than 10% of area-employed workers, and 24.2% of all areas with between 10 and 20% of area-employed workers, making the majority of all areas with less than 20% of area-employed workers. In addition, 15.3% of all areas had more than 50% of area workers as day labourers.

In terms of permanent workers (jōyō rōdōsha), areas with less than 10% and 10-19% each had more than 25% of permanent workers, while 70.9% of all areas had less than 30% permanent workers and only 9% of area had more than 50% permanent workers.

For self-employed people, the picture is different from that of day labourers and permanent workers, with 60.7% of areas having more than 50% self-employed. It can be inferred that the dōwa area are dependent on traditional buraku industries or micro-agriculture (reisai nōgyō).

(f) Recipients of protection under the Public Assistance Act

Of the 407,279 households in dōwa areas nationwide, 29,063 households are receiving protection under the Public Assistance Law (seikatsu hogo hō), which means that the number of households receiving protection per 100 households in dōwa areas is 7.1. Compared with the national average of 3.2, this is more than twice the national average, and the number of households receiving protection in the dōwa area is considerably higher than the general population.

The number of protected households per 100 households in the dōwa region reaches a high of 52.4 in Nagasaki, and exceeds 15.0 in Kagawa, Fukushima, Kochi, Fukuoka, Tokushima and Saga prefectures, while it is less than 2.0 in Ibaraki, Nagano, Tochigi, Chiba and Saitama prefectures.

There is a significant correlation between the number of protected households per 100 households in each prefecture and those in the dōwa areas, with a tendency for the average in each prefecture to be higher in the dōwa areas, with the prefectural average being higher than the national average of 3.2 and the dōwa areas average being higher than the national average of 7.1 in 11 of the prefectures. On the other hand, there are 15 prefectures where the prefectural average is lower than the national average of 3.2 and the dōwa area average is lower than the national average of 7.2.

However, it is worth noting that in some prefectures, such as Kagawa, Fukushima, Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Hiroshima, Nara and Aichi, the prefectural average number of protected households per 100 households is equal to or lower than the national average of 3.2, while the national average in the dōwa area is higher than 7.1. This is noteworthy.

3 The general situation of the areas according to the detailed survey

The Council selected 16 areas from across the country from July 1962 onwards to conduct a detailed survey, together with the aforementioned basic survey, as concrete data on the measures to be taken (Details are given in the annexed report). However, it goes without saying that these areas do not necessarily represent the national average level due to the diversity of the buraku. While the formation of dōwa areas is due to discrimination as a cause and poverty as a result of the overall backwardness of the areas, the diversity of the local community can capture the condition in various ways.

(a) Location.

dōwa areas have traditionally been located in extremely poor geographical conditions. In other words, they are located on land that is unsuitable for general land use, both urban and rural, such as along rivers, riverbeds, swamps, slopes, and wastelands. As a result, dōwa areas are often severely damaged during floods and heavy rainfall.

However, in general, urban dōwa areas have changed considerably due to the expansion of urban areas, development of transport, expansion of industrial scale, etc., or due to war damage (as in Osaka City, for example). However, nationwide, there have been few changes, and many of the problems are recurring in the traditional poor environment.

(b) Status of the population.

In general, the phenomenon of the population moving away from the village to the capital is noticeable, while the general population is mixed in urban districts.

The majority of dōwa areas have approximately the same number of men and women, although there are more women than men in the dōwa population. One reason might be that more men leave the areas. The age structure of the population in the 15-25 age group is comparatively small, indicating the phenomenon of the “middle neck” (naka kubire genshō) of the population, which is clearly a cause of the stagnation of the living functions of the residents of the area.

The density of dōwa areas is not particularly overcrowded compared with the general area, but in the urban area there is a high density of housing, with tenements, rented houses and rented apartments, etc., and many areas have turned into slums.

With the rapid growth of the economy, the rural areas in general have shown an active population movement away from the villages and towards the capital, while the buraku have also seen a fairly significant outflow of population, although not to the same extent as in the general areas. However, looking at the post-war situation, not a few of the out-migrants from the pre-war and wartime period have returned home due to circumstances such as evacuation, leaving their jobs, war damage or the death of their husbands. This phenomenon can also be seen in general areas, but in the case of the dōwa areas, many were forced to return due to discrimination and difficulties in their lives.

Before World War II, general and dōwa areas were separated by rivers, fields, roads, and moats, but recently, urban dōwa areas have tended to become mixed due to the expansion of the areas themselves and the arrival of the general population in search of housing and factory sites. This tendency does not extend to the centre of the area, but is more common in the surrounding areas, and even if they share the same neighbourhood association, there is often some tension and distance in the living relationship between the two groups.

(c) Family and marriage

Family size in both rural and urban areas does not tend to differ from that in the general area, with approximately four to five persons per household, although there are slightly more persons in rural areas than in urban areas.

Most marriages are normal, with no significant numbers of divorced or bereaved couples. The majority of marriages are arranged marriages, but a significant proportion of the younger age groups are free marriages (jiyū kon).

Discrimination in marriage is the last insurmountable barrier to buraku discrimination. Traditionally, marriages of the people concerned (kankei jyūmin) are “marriages within the buraku” (buraku naikon), mostly between residents from the same area or other dōwa areas, and inter-marriages with ordinary people are extremely limited.

(d) Industry and occupation.

In terms of industry, there are a lot of employed and simple workers in many micro-enterprises in agriculture and commerce, and few employed workers in modern industry. In rural areas field farming is the core, but there are also some areas where fruit growing is also practised. The scale of farming operations is very small, with most are averaging around four hectares. Therefore, there are very few full-time farmers, and most are part-time farmers, often engaged in daily labour, hired labour, peddling, migrant work, straw processing, and so on.

Urban areas up so far have had some traditional industry, but these areas and their residents are gradually declining, and there is an increasing shift towards hired labour, simple labour, commerce, and services. Industry types generally include butchery, leather, shoemaking, sundries, footwear, peddling and brokerage.

In terms of occupation, it is noteworthy that, overall, the number of micro-enterprise owners and their employees is extremely high and unstable, and that there are significant differences between parents and their children. Parents are more likely to be employed in traditional industries or occupations or in simple labour, while their children are more likely to prefer modern employment work and are also less likely to be employed in large modern companies.

At first glance, this may appear to be due to low levels of knowledge, skills, and education, but it is basically due to the fact that social discrimination prevents them from finding work.

In addition, the reason why more children are employed is that they dislike traditional industries and simple labour, but the underlying cause is the absolute shortage of labour due to economic growth, which places them in a situation of low wages.

(e) Education situation

The state of education is marked by the poor academic performance of pupils in school education, delays in social education and stagnant dōwa education. The performance of pupils in school education, both in elementary and junior high schools, is generally quite poor, with the majority being below or in the middle, although some have higher grades overall.

In regard to the career path of junior high school pupils, most of them find work in urban and rural areas and the proportion who go on to higher education is half that of the general areas, at around 30%. The lower rate of pupils going on to higher education is often due to family poverty or poor academic performance of pupils themselves. However, parents' interest in education is extremely high, and it is noteworthy that around 80% of parents want their children to go on to higher education.

Social education activities are quite vigour in some areas, with neighbourhood halls (rinpokan) and community centres (kōminkan) as locations, but in general they are sluggish. The reasons for this are inadequate facilities and equipment, lack of staff (especially leaders), budget, and busy work, but the lack of leaders is a particular problem.

The activities of social education groups mainly consist of women's and children's associations, with few youth groups and the main contents of the activities of women's associations are field trips, lectures, classes on life skills and general education, while those of children's associations are field trips, recreational activities, and supplementary classes. Note that the low number of youth group activities endorses the fact that there is a high outflow of people in that age group.

Dōwa education is actually provided in school and social education, but the current situation is sluggish.

This is due, partly, to the lack of basic policy on dōwa education, but secondly, it appears to be due to the lack of knowledge and training of teachers and instructors in the field.

The educational level of the residents, both parents and children, has improved considerably, but is still lower than in the general areas. For example, in the past, the educational level of parents was mostly elementary school and junior high graduates, with the latter being extremely rare, but today around 15% of parents have junior high school degrees, and around 30% of children have senior high school degrees or above. However, this is less than half of the figure for the general area, where 30-40% of parents and 60-70% of children have a senior high school diploma or higher.

(f) Living conditions

Dōwa areas are often equated with low-income neighbourhoods (slums) because the living conditions are extremely poor from the outside perspective.

Roads and sewage drains are generally undeveloped and there is ample room for improvement in terms of health and sanitation and fire prevention hazards. Very few areas have street lighting.

Water supply is still shared, or wells are used. Even in urban areas, the use of wells is still common. Facilities for the disposal of human waste and garbage are gradually being developed in urban areas and are on a par with those in general urban areas, but many agricultural and fishing villages have incomplete facilities, and garbage is often left unattended or incompletely disposed of in the area.

In terms of housing conditions, some areas have made considerable progress with the construction of additional improved housing, but in many cases poor, overcrowded wooden houses are still left behind. The housing type is mostly single-storey wooden free-standing houses or row houses. In some urban areas, illegal occupation of planned road construction sites and other areas is also observed, as well as temporary hut houses throughout the urban and rural areas.

Among housing facilities, there are quite a few areas with communal bathrooms, but kitchens and latrines are inadequate. In particular, the use of communal bathrooms is still common in many areas, and unhygienic vault bathrooms are far from being improved. In urban dōwa areas, some households use city gas, but the diffusion rate is very low, including in rural areas, and oil stoves and wood-fired stoves are often used.

(g) Living standards

The income level of the dōwa area residents is generally low, and it is quite difficult to improve it, as is evident from the characteristics of the industrial and occupational structure of the areas as discussed above. Most of the population in the dōwa area is engaged in simple and irregular work, and their monthly income is often small and not constant. Income is earned in both urban and rural areas and in many cases, through familial employment. In other words, income is often compounded by the individual employment of the spouse or other family members living in the same household, rather than depending solely on the head of the household. Expenditure is often equal to or exceeds income. Furthermore, there is a tendency to spend the limited income in an unplanned manner. Another feature is that the Engel’s law is extremely high. In terms of income patterns, many households have a family member who works or is partly self-employed, while many households have two or more family members who work or are partly self-employed, but there are also many households with two or more family members who work or have a combination of work and business income. A small number of households are also dependent on property income (zaisan shūnyū), welfare pensions (fukushi nenkin), unemployment insurance (shitsugyō hoken) and dependent remittance (fuyō shiokuri). The diffusion of durable consumer goods is generally low sewing machines, electric washing machines and televisions is lower than the national average. Newspaper and magazine subscription rates are often quite low, especially for magazines, which are rarely subscribed to. These diffusion rates appear to correspond to the income levels of the residents of the dōwa areas. For the low-income groups, the cultural standards are as low as the economic standards.

(h) Livelihood and welfare

Low economic and cultural standards in the areas cause social problems such as poverty and disease among the population, as well as pathological phenomena such as delinquency, crime, school failure and long absences. The high proportion of households receiving various types of public assistance throughout the areas cannot be ignored. On the other hand, participation in various types of social insurances is generally low, and the participation rate in health insurances, mutual aid associations and national health insurance is considerably lower than in the general area. In addition, reliance on so-called private assistance, such as kōai, is decreasing considerably compared to previous years. In rural districts, the proportion of protected households is lower. However, as a result, the degree of living in the areas is not high. The active efforts of the residents of the dōwa area in relation to the welfare of their livelihoods are very partial and temporary. For example, active interest and participation in youth groups, women's associations, senior citizens' clubs, children's associations, and other community groups in the district is passive. Such community groups do not have sufficient and interesting functions to encourage the active participation of dōwa area residents. In many cases, there is also a lack of proper guidance by professional workers in welfare activities in the areas.

(i) Awareness of the dōwa issue

Regarding human rights awareness on “discrimination”, a lack of awareness of the dōwa issue is strongly indicated in the general areas. Moreover, there are still considerable misunderstandings and prejudices among the general population, and strong “feelings of discrimination” remain, depending on gender, age group or region. Some of the general public claim that “fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution are already in place today when getting married or finding a job”, i.e., that “there is no violation of human rights regardless of whether one is a buraku or not”, while dōwa are residents claim that “human rights are not protected” because they have already experienced direct discrimination when they got married or found a job. In terms of the direct feelings and attitudes of the general public towards the dōwa areas and its residents, a problem common to both urban and rural areas is that, even if they are formally required to socialise with the dōwa residents, they are essentially reluctant to do so, and in fact, tend to avoid it. It is a lack of correct awareness and knowledge of the dōwa issue, and of active consideration for the resolution of it. In some areas, problems were identified in terms of the crudeness, attitude, clothes, educational level, culture, and poverty of the dōwa area residents, and in some cases, the general public clearly showed direct discrimination in their language and behaviour. Discriminatory language and behaviour experienced by many of the dōwa area residents include “in employment and professional relationships”, “in marriage”, “in neighbourhoods” and “through school”. Of these, a particularly large number experienced discrimination in employment and marriage, and they experienced some form of direct discrimination, irrespective of gender or age. Among the general population living in the dōwa areas, there were also those who thought that even if direct expressions of discrimination ceased, discrimination would still remain, or that it would not be resolved through any social measures.

 Part 2:
Progress of the dōwa measures

1 Buraku improvement (kaizen) and dōwa measures

The Emancipation Edict in 1871 was a landmark event in the dōwa issue. However, as a result of the fact that no administrative measures were taken to guarantee substantial emancipation, it is worth noting that a short time later, an independent movement to improve the dōwa areas through their own efforts emerged among the dōwa area residents. It is not surprising that the residents of the dōwa areas, who had been oppressed at the bottom of society, were motivated by the liberal civil rights movement that followed the Meiji Restoration, to take independent action. Nakae Chōmin, who was the first to introduce Rousseau's democratic ideas into Japan, and his student Maeda Sanyū, made frequent commentaries on the dōwa issue and endeavoured to evocate the self-awareness of the residents of dōwa areas. In June 1902, an organisation called the Commoners Safety and Work Association (Bisaku Heiminkai) was founded in a corner of Okayama Prefecture, led by young men who were influenced by them, and it became the pioneer of the dōwa area improvement movement (dōwa chiku kaizen undō). The Commoners Safety and Work Society actively promoted the improvement of public morals and education, the promotion of assembly action, the encouragement of enhanced education, and the cultivation of human resources, in order to consolidate the foundations of independence and self-reliance, and later to promote self-reflection towards society, based on the policy of “first cleaning up the accumulated evil among the people and then grow depressed towards the outside”, which was a typical example of internal reformism (naibu kaizen shugi). The Great Japan Fraternal Integration Society (Dainippon Dōhō Yūwa Kai) was then formed in Osaka in July 1903. The inaugural general meeting was attended by as many as 300 representatives from Tokyo, Aichi, Mie, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Hyōgo, Okayama, and other prefectures, as well as Kyūshū and Shikoku, making it a meeting of national scale. The action objective decided at this general meeting was basically the same as that of the Commoners Safety and Work Society, and included the cultivation of morals, correction of public morals, encouragement of education, attention to hygiene, training of human resources, thrift and savings, and promotion of industry and commerce. In any case, the formation of the Great Japan Fraternal Integration Society was of great significance in that it marked the nationwide development of the improvement movement. After the Russo-Japanese War, the country's finances were strained, and the people's lives were made more difficult by soaring prices. The restoration of national power and the stabilisation of people's lives became an urgent task for the government. The Ministry of Home Affairs concentrated on local improvement projects and encouraged and guided the establishment of model towns and villages. However, the prefectural governors of the Kansai region complained that it was difficult to immediately establish model towns and villages because the dōwa areas were in such a poor state. In 1907, the government conducted a nationwide survey of dōwa areas and decided to grant incentive funds and awards to “model buraku” (mohan buraku) and those who had contributed to the improvement of the situation. Thus, in Osaka, Wakayama, Hyogo, Nara, Kyoto, Mie, and other prefectures, buraku improvement projects were taken up as part of local improvement projects. On 7 and 8 November 1913, the Ministry of Home Affairs organised a meeting of the National Council for Poor Buraku (Zenkoku Saimin Buraku Kyōgikai), where all kinds of issues were discussed, including education, customs, occupation, housing, hygiene, medical care, tax payment, savings, finance, socialising, immigration, and religion. At that meeting, Mizuno Rentarō, then Director General of the Regional Bureau (chihō kyoku chō), expressed the government 's view that “we want to improve the buraku completely and make them a useful people for the nation, thereby making the nation rich and strong”, and that to achieve this, “we must work together with local benefactors and influential people and make joint efforts with the public and private sectors for buraku improvement from both spiritual and material aspects”. To understand how these measures to improve the buraku were implemented in concrete terms, let us take the example of Mie Prefecture. Mie Governor Hideyoshi Arimatsu, former head of the Home Ministry's Police Department (naimushō keihokyoku chō), had a Christian named Takeba Toraichiro, a prefectural Jikei relief worker, to provide actual guidance, and had the chiefs of police and mayors of towns and villages cooperate to form the “Association of Independent Businesses” (Jieisha) in each district, and launched an improvement campaign to “instil patriotism, enlighten humanity, encourage cleanliness, and spread education” to improve living conditions and correct customs. The opening of the rules of the Association of Independent Businesses that promoted these improvement campaigns stipulated: 'We thank God that we have been born in this holy and benevolent world, and we pray every morning in remembrance of the blessings we enjoy today”. This can be seen as a clear expression of the benevolent nature of the buraku improvement measures of the time. The Imperial Way Society (Teikoku Kōdō Kai), which represented the civil movement in the Taishō era, was founded in June 1914 at the initiative of Ōe Taku. Its prospectus stated: “There are still many among our people who are stubborn and obstinate, who forget the place of the Sacred Will in their daily interactions with each other, who disregard the great principles of humanity, and who do not know that they should not be ashamed of themselves. This is indeed an expression of the fact that there are still some in our society who have not yet escaped from barbarism, and we should not stand idly by for the sake of our nation”, and what was intended was a humanitarian movement for sympathy and reconciliation to break through the general social confusion. Meanwhile, it must be noted that at this point, an independent improvement movement based on the awareness of the people of the dōwa areas emerged. In other words, the Great Japan Brotherhood Society (Daiwa Dōshikai) was formed in Nara Prefecture in August 1913, followed by the Chinzei Impartial Society (Chinzei Kōmeikai) in Fukuoka Prefecture, the Fukushima Town People's Unity Association (Fukushima Chōmin Icchi Kyōkai) in Hiroshima Prefecture, the Izumo Brotherhood Society (Izumo Dōshikai) in Shimane Prefecture and the Okayama Prefecture Brotherhood Society (Okayama-ken Dōshikai) in Okayama Prefecture, and the buraku improvement movement was progressing. These associations differed in character from the Association of Independent Businesses in Mie Prefecture during the Meiji era, as they were organised from the bottom as independent associations of the residents of the dōwa area, rather than as government-organised associations encouraged from the top. The written request submitted by Okamoto Hisashi, who represented Wakayama Prefecture at the aforementioned National Council for Poor Buraku meeting, to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hirata Tōsuke, represents the views and arguments of the leaders of the Kaizen movement at the time.

In other words,

  • Occupations peculiar to the buraku should be encouraged to change as much as possible, and occupations with an unpleasant odour, such as leather, should be prohibited in crowded places. In addition, it is desired that regulations be established to control and improve the appearance of footwear mending and other unsightly occupations.

  • The inadequate lighting and smoke ventilation in the dwellings of the poor often causes eye diseases. The prefectural government should establish building regulations and give them a certain grace period before ordering them to be gradually remodelled.

  • Regulations should also be established for the cleaning of residential roads and canals.

  • The population of the buraku and of poor people is increasing. Special consideration should be given to measures for emigration elsewhere.

  • Special facilities should be provided for the eradication of the trachoma, which is a disease peculiar to the buraku.

  • The bad customs (heifū) of the buraku were not created overnight, and it is unlikely that it can be improved simply by guidance and encouragement. The government of Japan should provide substantial subsidies.

  • Awareness about the buraku people is the most important factor in the improvement of the buraku, but what hinders this is discrimination by the public. The following two or three examples are given below:

A. Buraku people are not used in government, public offices, companies, and factories. This is the reason why the education of buraku people is not progressing.

B. It is extremely difficult for people to enter elementary and junior high schools, as well as vocational schools and above. The elimination of the discrimination within schools is the only way to improve the attendance of people.

C. If those with considerable learning are appointed to public offices, they will inspire and encourage the buraku people, and we believe that education should progress without waiting for encouragement. Buraku improvement means improving the wealth.

  • There are many examples of buraku people being in a disadvantageous position in business and in tenant farming because being such. Efforts should be made to eliminate such discriminatory practices.
     

As described above, the reformist character of the measures for the buraku in the Meiji and Taishō eras was based on the failure to understand that the poor living conditions of the residents of the dōwa areas originated from the pathology of Japan's socio-economic system, and that the dōwa issue could be solved simply by improving the subjective conditions of the residents.

2 The Liberation movement (kaihō) and reconciliation measures (yūwa)

It was in the latter half of the Taishō era that the dōwa issue attracted the attention and deep interest of the government and society in general, and this was triggered by the rice riots that broke out in July 1918 and the National Levelers’ Society movement that was formed in 1922. The rice riots were spontaneous outbursts of anger among a wide range of low-income groups who had fallen on hard times as a result of the sharp rise in the price of rice. It is a fact that many dōwa area residents in cities such as Kyoto, Okayama, Hiroshima, Tsu and Nagoya participated in these riots together with the general public, including workers and citizens, and took violent action. It is also true that dōwa area residents took part in riots in Shiga, Nara, Wakayama, Toyama, Kagawa, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, and other cities. However, the rice riots were not caused solely by dōwa area residents, nor were the riots caused by discrimination issues, nor were the riots led by dōwa area residents in a planned and organised manner. However, amidst the unprecedented economic boom caused by the economic impact of the First World War, combined with the poor and miserable living conditions of the majority of the dōwa area residents, which could be described as poverty amidst discrimination (sabetsu no naka no hinkon), the pressure from the discrimination and resentment that had been building up over many years exploded, leading many dōwa area residents to participate in the rice riots. The interest of the government and society in general is concentrated on the seriousness and gravity of the dōwa issue, where such anti-social energy (han shakai teki enerugī) is latent. In other words, the rice riots led to the discovery of the dōwa issue and its recognition as a serious social problem. This was proved by the Conference for Sympathy and Reconciliation (Dōjō Yūwa Daikai) organised by the Imperial Way Society, and the fact that 50,000 yen was allocated for local improvement in the national budget for 1920. It was in February 1919 that the first Conference for Sympathy and Reconciliation was held by the Imperial Way Society at Tsukiji Honganji in Tokyo. The conference was attended by more than 430 people, including members of both houses of the Diet, ministers of the ministries concerned, members of the nobility, scholars, religious leaders, and influential people from the dōwa areas. The declaration of the conference urged the government to reflect on the situation, stating that "if the course is not changed as a result of this deception, it must be ensured that those among them who harbour radical ideas will not curse the society”. The influential people of the dōwa areas who attended the conference met separately to discuss countermeasures, and as a result, petitioned the relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of the Army, the Ministry of the Navy, and the Ministry of Education, as well as political parties, on the improvement of the buraku, and submitted a petition to the 41st Imperial Diet in March 1921. The following month, in February 1921, the 2nd Conference for Sympathy and Reconciliation was held, which was attended by many representatives of the dōwa areas from all over Japan. After the congress, several leading figures from dōwa areas in Wakayama, Hiroshima, Yamanashi, and other prefectures were elected as executive committee members, and petitioned the relevant ministries, requesting them to actively implement policies for the improvement of buraku. They also petitioned the 42nd Imperial Diet as follows.

  • To employ burakumin as government officials.

  • No mentioning of special buraku (tokushu buraku) or other abhorrent characters in official documents, background checks, etc.

  • Abolish discriminatory treatment in the armed forces and in education.

  • Organise buraku improvement organisations. Establish a Buraku Improvement Research Organisations.

  • Buraku improvement funds should be paid from the national treasury. Establish a section in the Ministry of the Interior for buraku Improvement Affairs and appoint a full-time manager.

  • A social division should be set up in the local government offices and a full-time official for buraku improvement be appointed.

  • Remove the internal limit on the number of households for group migration to Hokkaidō.
     

The content of this petition is a good source of information on the specific measures as dōwa policies that the leaders of the dōwa areas were demanding at the time. To put it simple, the demands are basically the same as those of the reformist movement of the Meiji and early Taishō era, but progress has been made in that the movement has developed into demanding for administrative measures, moving away from the principle of internal improvement first. Under these circumstances, the government conducted a nationwide survey of the buraku and adopted the “Buraku Improvement Outline” (buraku kaizen yōkō), the report of the Social Work Investigation Committee (shakai jigyō chōsa kai), an advisory body to the newly founded Social Affairs Bureau, in August 1920, to establish administrative policy, and increased the budget to 210,000 yen in the following year, 1921, to expand measures. Thus, in response to the fact that the dōwa issue was taken up in government policy, new reconciliation groups (yūwa dantai) were formed one after another, such as the Kōchi Prefecture Way Society Association (Kōchi-ken Kōdō Kai) in October 1919, the Okayama Prefecture Harmony Society (Okayama-ken Kyōwakai) in August 1920 and the Hiroshima Prefecture Sympathy Society (Hiroshima-ken Kyōmei Kai) in March 1921. In September 1921, the Mutual Love Association (Dōaikai), chaired by Yoriyasu Arima, was formed as a nationwide organisation, and the movement for the improvement of private organisations and the reconciliation movement at this time was finally expanding nationwide. The guiding philosophy and movement policy also underwent major changes under the influence of the labour movement, the rise of socialism and international trends such as national self-determination and racial equality. In other words, the movement shifted from the traditional reformist approach, which gave priority to the improvement of the buraku, to a reconciliation approach, which placed emphasis on the elimination of discrimination. In response to this reconciliation movement, the founding convention of the National Levelers’ Society was held at the Okazaki Public Hall in Kyoto on 3 March 1922. Amidst the tragic emotions and unusual excitement that filled the hall, a declaration of the formation of the National Levelers’ Society, which could be called a declaration of human rights, was announced, and the following charter, which outlined the general policy of the movement, was unanimously adopted.

  • We, the special buraku, shall strive for absolute liberation through the actions of the buraku themselves.

  • We, the special buraku, shall absolutely demand economic freedom and occupational freedom from society and strive to obtain them.

  • We awaken to the principle of humanity and rush towards the highest perfection of mankind.
     

The National Levelers’ Society was founded as an independent organisation that aimed for complete emancipation rather than improvement-oriented burakuamelioration and struggled for the elimination of discrimination rather than cooperative reconciliation-ism (kyōchō teki na yūwa shugi). This is a character fundamentally different from that of reconciliation groups. The National Levelers’ Society movement spread like wildfire throughout the country, and the resolution of the congress, “If any person expresses contempt for us through the words or deeds of the unsavoury or special buraku people, we will denounce them thoroughly”, was put into practice, so it cannot be denied that anti-social phenomena appeared in one aspect in the early stages. However, it must be said that the National Levelers’ Movement played a significant role in other aspects, such as raising awareness of the basic human rights for the dōwa area residents and universalising social recognition of the irrationality of buraku discrimination. In the year following the formation of the National Levelers’ Society, the national budget for local improvements was increased to 491,000 yen, more than double the amount of the previous year. In August 1923, the government issued a directive from the Minister of Home Affairs stressing the need to break down discriminatory prejudice and actively encouraged and supported the reconciliation movement, and reconciliation groups were organised in all the prefectures concerned throughout Japan. Furthermore, the Central Association for Reconciliation Projects (Chūō Yūwa Jigyō Kyōkai), a nationwide federation integrating private reconciliation groups, was established, with Kiichiro Hiranuma as its chairman, and as an affiliated organisation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was ready to deal with the National Levelers’ movement. In order to cope with the agricultural depression that hit rural Japan in 1930s and 1931s, the government implemented measures to help the situation, and as an dōwa policy emergency measure, projects to provide relief to poor farmers was implemented. This led to the development of the movement from a traditional ideological reconciliation movement for to one focusing on economic measures for the rehabilitation of self-consciousness (jikaku kōsei). In 1935, the “Outline for the Comprehensive Development of the Reconciliation Programme” (Yūwa Jigyō no Sōgō teki Shinten ni kan suru Yōkō) was decided upon, and based on this, the “Ten-Year Plan for the Completion of the Reconciliation Programme” (Yūwa Jigyō Kansei 10 ka nen Keikaku) was drawn up, starting in 1936. The content of the plan was based on economic rehabilitation and educational and cultural measures as the two main pillars, with the economic rehabilitation measures focusing on the training of middle-class people and the rehabilitation of self-consciousness movement, and the educational and cultural measures focusing on the promotion of dōwa education and awareness-raising educational activities for the elimination of discrimination. This was of ground-breaking significance in that it gave the previously unplanned dōwa measures a comprehensive, unified, and planned approach. However, the government did not take budgetary measures to adopt the plan in its entirety, so it was only half-heartedly implemented, and with the outbreak of the Pacific War, the measures were sacrificed to the war policy and buried in the darkness of the difficult times. At the same time, the reconciliation movement which led the central reconciliation projects gradually developed nationalist and militarist tendencies and became part of the national mobilisation movement (kokumin seishin sōdōin undō) to meet the war aims, losing its original purpose and role.

3 Current dōwa measures and their evaluation

After Japan's defeat in the Pacific War, the Allied Forces' occupation policy forbade special administrative measures targeting the dōwa areas, so the government 's dōwa measures were suspended and administrative stagnation was inevitable. Under the socio-economic conditions devastated by the war, the lives of the people in general were plunged into extreme poverty, and it goes without saying that the residents of dōwa areas were particularly impoverished. Moreover, discrimination against the buraku continued, and problems caused by discrimination incidents occurred frequently in various parts of the country. In other words, despite the so-called democratic reforms of the post-war period, the dōwa issue was left unresolved. Under these circumstances, in February 1947, the National Committee for Buraku Liberation (Buraku Kaihō Zenkoku Iinkai) (later renamed the Buraku Liberation League / Buraku Kaihō Dōmei) was formed and the independent liberation movement was re-organised. The post-war buraku liberation movement continued the tradition of the National Levelers’ Movement and developed on the basis of its experience and theories, but its distinctive feature was the expansion of its organisation on the basis of the so-called “administrative struggles” (gyōsei tōsō) in the dōwa areas. In other words, it deepened its awareness of buraku discrimination, moved forward from the denunciation struggle against psychological discrimination that the National Levelers’ Society had previously carried out, emphasised the existence of actual discrimination, and developed a nationwide mass struggle to demand administrative measures for buraku liberation from local authorities and the government on the grounds that administrative stagnation was to blame for this. The Buraku Liberation League's active participation in the 1958 struggle against the work evaluation of teachers (kinmu hyōtei hansha tōsō), which had a great impact on the residents of the dōwa area, is a remarkable example of this. It is also noteworthy that the Buraku Liberation League, in collaboration with labour unions and reformist political parties, became active in the struggle for stability of life and defence of rights, as well as in the struggle for peace. On the other hand, in November 1951, the All-Japan Council for Dōwa Measures (Zen Nihon Dōwa Taisaku Kyōgikai) was born, mainly comprising officials from local authorities in the Kinki, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyūshū and other regions involved in dōwa measures. For the first few years, the All-Japan Council for Dōwa Measures cooperated with the Buraku Liberation League and campaigned for the active implementation of dōwa measures by the government. However, in the end, the two organisations, which had different guiding principles, disagreed, and finally parted ways. Later, in May 1960, the All-Japan Dōwa Association (Zen Nihon Dōwa Kai) was formed, with dōwa area residents at its core, with the aim of creating a nationwide movement. These two organisations can be seen as a continuation and development of the pre-war buraku improvement (kaizen) and reconciliation (yūwa) movement. From their respective standpoints, these private organisations strongly demanded the revival of the interrupted dōwa measures and urged the government and the Diet to establish comprehensive dōwa measures as a national policy and promptly realise a fundamental solution to the dōwa issue. After the Peace Treaty came into effect, subsidies for the establishment of neighbourhood halls (rinpokan) in dōwa areas were included in the government budget for the first time after the war in FY 1953, and the budget for environmental improvement projects was increased for communal bathhouses from FY 1956 and communal workshops and sewage drainage facilities from FY 1954, gradually restoring pre-war dōwa measures. However, as these were only partial improvement projects, calls for the establishment of comprehensive measures to achieve a radical solution to the dōwa issue gradually increased. In 1958, the government set up a Ministerial Advisory Group on the Dōwa Issue in the Cabinet (Dōwa Mondai Kakuryō Kondankai) and decided to incorporate dōwa measures into the administrative policies of the ministries concerned. The Liberal Democratic Party and the Socialist Party of Japan also set up special committees to study measures against the dōwa, and after the Policy Council's decision, each party issued its own outline of measures against the dōwa. In the private sector, the Buraku Liberation League led the nationwide campaign called the “Petition Movement for the realisation and demand of Buraku Liberation” (Buraku Kaihō Yōkyū Kantetsu Seigan Undō) in 1960, and the All-Japan Dōwa Association and the All-Japan Council for Dōwa Measures strongly promoted a campaign calling for the establishment of a national policy. As a result, in the 35th extraordinary session of the Diet in 1960, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Japan Socialist Party and the Democratic Socialist Party of Japan, working together in a bipartisan manner from the standpoint of respect for human rights, jointly proposed a bill to establish the Deliberative Council for Dōwa Policies (Dōwa Taisaku Shingikai), which was passed unanimously by the Diet. Since the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Dōwa Issue in the Cabinet (Dōwa Mondai Kakuryō Kondankai), progress has been made towards implementing comprehensive measures based on the establishment of model areas, and various measures under the jurisdiction of the newly added Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and the government 's budget for the measures was also increased year by year. With the development of these government measures, local authorities with a large number of dōwa areas within their administrative areas not only cooperated with the implementation of government administrative measures, but also began to more actively implement the dōwa measures that they had been taking on their own initiative and at their own financial expense. If we compare the post-war measures to those of the pre-war period, it is clear that this is a step forward. This must be properly appreciated.

In view of the above-mentioned overview of the process of the dōwa measures, the Council made the following overall evaluation of the administrative measures implemented by the government so far.

  • From the end of the Meiji era to the beginning of the Taishō era, the government 's dōwa policies were administrative measures implemented from the perspective of maintaining public order and helping the poor, and it cannot be denied that their basic character was charitable and beneficial. In addition, the buraku improvement measures, which were initially implemented as part of the local improvement administration, did not take measures to promote and develop them as a living improvement movement based on the voluntary spirit (jihatsu teki seishin) and independent action (jishu teki kōdō) of the residents of the dōwa areas, and tended to be limited to the correction of customs and manners through conceptual and formal guidance and encouragement.

  • The independent improvement movement that emerged nationwide in the middle of the Taishō era was an expression of the awareness of the residents of the dōwa areas, but the government did not actively implement improvement measures in response to the movement, but only benevolently implemented improvement projects with a limited budget.

  • The rice riots and the emergence of the National Levelers' Movement were the catalyst for the government 's recognition of the importance of the dōwa issue. In addition, from the Meiji era to the present day, government measures to address the dōwa issue were often stimulated by the mass movements of the dōwa area residents, which were rooted in earnest demands and serious anguish, and were often implemented as a means of appeasement in response to such movements.

  • It is undeniable that the specific administrative measures taken by the government in the past as dōwa measures were hasty and lacked planning based on long-term goals and the comprehensiveness to respond immediately to the complex and diverse aspects of the dōwa issue. Such shortcomings in administrative measures not only stemmed from the adverse effects of the so-called vertically segmented administrative system (tatewari gyōsei), but also from the government 's attitude towards the fundamental solution of the dōwa issue itself.

  • Even at the present stage, there is a sense that the dōwa measures are treated as a complex and difficult problem compared to general administration, but if they are not positioned correctly, there is a risk that they will become discriminatory and specialised administration. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly position dōwa measures in the basic policies of the state implemented by the government, and to develop and establish a system in which all organs of the administrative structure can function directly and indirectly to promote a drastic solution to the dōwa problem.

  • A big deficit should be pointed out, in which the systematic dōwa measures are not established in a sufficient consideration to reduce the financial burden on the local government s as the state and local government s have organised dōwa measures into a single system, and administrative measures are allocated according to the respective fields of the government, prefectures and municipalities. As a result, there is a large disparity in the attitude of local authorities, with some actively implementing dōwa measure, and others barely at all, resulting in an extremely unbalanced situation throughout the country.

  • Expenditure on measures to address the dōwa issue in the national budget has been increasing year after year. However, the amount of money spent on the various expenses necessary to achieve a fundamental solution to the dōwa problem has been extremely small. If the government truly intends to achieve a fundamental solution to the dōwa issue, it must first and foremost recognise the social development significance and value of government expenditure on dōwa measures and dramatically increase this expenditure.

  • Based on the above assessment, the direction of administration aiming at a fundamental solution to the dōwa issue must be to maintain close harmony with the voluntary movements based on the voluntary will of the local residents (chiku jyūmin no jihatsu ishi) and to actively implement a variety of measures with comprehensive planning that responds to the special characteristics of the area.

Part 3:
Concrete proposals for dōwa policies

1 Measures concerning environmental improvement

(1) Basic Principle

Measures for environmental improvement as dōwa measure are to improve the environment, which is the basis for a healthy and cultural life, and to eliminate discriminatory prejudice in the community. In other words, improving the poor environment, which fosters a sense of living in a different place, is the basis for various measures such as improving social welfare, establishing economic life, and raising the level of education, and has a particularly important significance. Therefore, in promoting the implementation of these measures, it is necessary to work actively with a positive attitude, without being restricted by existing systems and measures, and in particular, it must be systematically promoted as an important issue for social development.

  1. Improvement of location conditions
    The reason for the poor living conditions in the is that many of them are [in locations] immediately damaged by heavy winds and torrential rains, such as [at] riverbeds, below embankments, on cliffs, in valleys, in moor, and on beaches, and some of them are no place for human habitation. In other words, it is necessary to investigate the actual conditions of such residential areas and establish measures to drastically improve them.

  2. Improvement of the environment in dōwa areas
    The improvement of the environment as a measure must have the aim of fundamentally resolving the actual situation in the current areas. As a principle, it is recognised that area reorganisation should be implemented. Even if improvements are carried out under the current system, such as residential area improvement projects and land readjustment projects, they must be carried out under special standards or by special methods.

  3. Improvements of small buraku areas
    Environmental improvements in rural areas, especially in districts with a small number of households, require special consideration. Lacking not only in geographical, but also economic and social conditions, these areas are in fact left behind when agricultural policy is said to have turned a corner. This is evidenced by the fact that the areas have reached an economic impasse and that young people are migrating to the cities. In this sense, these areas need appropriate environmental improvements that consider the migration and relocation of residents.

  4. Synthesis of environmental improvement measures
    Environmental improvement measures must be implemented in combination with various other measures, such as the improvements on social welfare, establishment of economic life and elevation of the education level. In addition to basic facilities such as housing, roads, water supply and sewage systems, welfare facilities such as community centres, nurseries, clinics, assembly halls, communal bathhouses, communal workshops, and children's playgrounds must also be established appropriately in accordance with the actual conditions in each area.

  5. Environmental improvement and responsibility of the state
    Environmental improvement measures must fundamentally be implemented under the responsibility of the state, in view of their historical and social nature. Many of the measures under the current system are in a deadlock due to the financial difficulties of local (prefectural and municipal) authorities. In principle, measures to achieve the purpose of area consolidation, such as securing land, special measures for land development, etc., should be implemented under the responsibility of the state.

(2) Specific measures

  1. Measures for area improvements
    In order to drastically improve the environment in urban and rural areas, a system of area improvements should be established, including the preparation of a comprehensive basic plan for the construction, renovation and relocation of housing, the installation of roads, water and sewage systems, and the construction of facilities such as assembly centres, day-care centres and community centres. In such cases, in disaster risk areas and other areas with poor location conditions, the system should be designed to enable the construction of disaster-prevention facilities and, if necessary, the relocation of buraku.

  2. Measures for housing

    1. Public and improved housing should be actively constructed.

    2. Enhance long-term, low-interest loan schemes for housing or residential land.

    3. Enhance long-term, low-interest loan programmes for housing renovation.

    4. Examine schemes that consider the special characteristics of rural housing.

  3. Improvement of the living environment (seikatsu kankyō)

    1.  Measures for regional improvement projects.

      1. Rural improvement projects should be further expanded and strengthened so that environmental improvement projects can be promoted in line with the actual conditions of the target areas.

      2. In particular, the construction and expansion of area roads, sewage drainage facilities, bridge facilities, etc., the construction and expansion of communal facilities such as community centres, communal bathhouses, communal workshops, etc., and various other facilities such as communal wells, communal cooking and washing facilities, communal latrines, relocated cemeteries, crypts, crematoria, waste incinerators, human waste storage tanks, etc. should be improved and expanded.

    2. Promotion of water supply

      1. The water supply coverage is extremely low in small and medium-sized cities and rural areas, as well as in urban areas. In general, water supply is often shared or used in the form of wells. Therefore, regardless of whether it is an urban or rural area, emphasis should be placed on areas with extremely low coverage to install and promote water supply and simple water systems. In particular, in villages in poor locations such as slopes and mountainous areas, secure water resources and improve water supply capacity.

    3. Sewage, urine, and garbage treatment

      1. Urgent action should be taken together with urban and rural areas to resolve the lack of sanitary processing of sewage, urine and garbage through public institutions, and the lack of public environmental sanitation facilities.

    4. Pollution control

      1. The facilities for small-scale buraku and household industries, which are often concentrated in urban and suburban rural areas, are rarely fully maintained. In particular, unhygienic living conditions such as pollution of rivers and sewage, noise and bad smells are disturbing the living environment of the dense buraku and may be harmful to the health. These pollution problems occur along with the concentration of small-scale industries in the areas. In response to this, the study of pollution problems in the area should be encouraged, and subsidies should be actively promoted from the perspective of health and welfare to enable the control of such problems.

    5. Parks, green spaces, children's playgrounds, etc.

      1. As parks, green spaces, children's playgrounds, and other facilities are inadequately provided in the buraku, these facilities should be proactively developed.

2 Measures concerning social welfare

(1) Basic principle

The areas are in a state of “poverty amidst discrimination” (sabetsu no naka hinkon). The reality of the dōwa areas, which combine the roughness of primitive society with the misery of civilised society, is nothing but a concentrated expression of the structural defects of Japanese society, and the vicious cycle of the concept of discrimination is repeatedly encouraged by the poor living conditions. Therefore, not only is the rate of people receiving public assistance far higher than the general average, but there is also a marked concentration of social pathologies such as disease, crime, and juvenile delinquency in the areas. Therefore, the problem of social welfare in the district should not be regarded merely as social welfare in the general sense, but as a social welfare problem of the dōwa issue, in which discrimination and poverty are tightly linked, and the goals and direction of the measures should be,

  1. The ultimate goal must be to realise a fundamental solution to the dōwa problem by embodying the articles of the Constitution (Articles 14 and 25) in real society and fully guaranteeing the basic human rights of the residents of the target areas.

  2. The immediate goal is to establish a social security system of international standard by improving, expanding, and developing the existing social security system. In the meantime, at the very least, the report of the Social Security System Council should be realised in full as soon as possible.

  3. In view of the special nature of the dōwa issue, make the various individual and group problems of the residents of the target areas the subject of social welfare, position social welfare for the dōwa issue in relation to general social welfare, and actively implement effective measures.

  4. To foster and encourage the modern spirit of the residents of the target areas, to awake their awareness of human rights and national consciousness, and to motivate them to improve their self-reliance.
     

(2) Specific measures

  1. Measures should be taken to spread awareness and understanding of the dōwa issue among public institutions and facilities related to social welfare and relevant private-sector organisations.

  2. Social welfare surveys on the target areas should be carried out through public institutions, and the state should establish a social welfare plan based on the survey data and implement the necessary measures in a comprehensive and systematic manner in order to achieve the targets.

  3. Efforts should be made to train and deploy specialist workers to promote social welfare activities in the target areas. For this purpose, close cooperation with educational institutions such as universities related to social welfare should be maintained, and appropriate measures such as commissioning the training of specialist workers should be taken.

  4. Establish consultative bodies and activity organisations that include welfare offices, health centres, child consultation centres, community centres and other relevant institutions and facilities, social welfare councils, new life movement councils (Shin Seikatsu Undō Kyōgikai), as well as schools and community groups, to actively promote social welfare in the target areas.

  5. Existing neighbourhood halls, community centres and assembly halls should be expanded from a comprehensive perspective, and in districts without such facilities, new social facilities with comprehensive functions, such as community centres seen in Western countries, should be established, and specialist staff with leadership capabilities should be assigned.

  6. Raise the standard amount of public assistance. In addition, the burden on insured persons of various social insurance schemes should be reduced and the content of insurance benefits improved. Furthermore, appropriate measures should be taken to eliminate being uninsured.

  7. Actively implement the necessary measures, such as promoting the enrichment and improvement of systems to further promote child welfare, welfare for the physically disabled and welfare for the aged.

  8. Actively implement measures for treatment, prevention, and health management of significant diseases in the target areas and take all possible measures for the promotion of rehabilitation and the development of medical institutions. Actively implement measures to promote public health, such as prevention of infectious diseases, dissemination, and thoroughness of hygiene concepts, travelling clinics, and group health check-ups.

  9. Reinforce measures for the mentally and physically handicapped in the target areas, and actively implement early detection through special check-ups for infants, regular medical consultations, and rehabilitation consultations for the physically handicapped.

  10. In view of the working conditions of women in the target areas, promote the establishment of nurseries for infants and toddlers and children's centres for the healthy upbringing of children. In addition, appropriate guidance on family planning, childcare, health of mothers and their children and rationalisation of life (seikatsu no gōrika) should be strengthened by public institutions and facilities such as various medical institutions and public health centres.

3 Measures concerning industries and occupations

(1) Basic principle

The industrial and occupational status of the dōwa areas form the very bottom of the dual structure of Japan's industrial economy. The dōwa farming and fishing villages are pre-modern small-scale enterprises, which are particularly behind the non-modern Japanese agriculture and fishing industry, and the overwhelming majority of traditional industries such as leather and footwear are small and medium-sized enterprises or smaller with a small number of employees. These industries in the dōwa region have been left behind in the shadows of Japan's economic development due to historical and social constraints, and it cannot be overlooked that this has also been a constraint on the rapid growth of the country's economy. In particular, it should be noted that the dōwa area residents have been shut out of modern industry because they are not guaranteed equal opportunities for employment due to unfair discrimination, and a large number of the so-called stagnant overpopulation (teitai teki kajō jinkō) is staying in the dōwa areas. Therefore, the lives of the residents are always precarious, and their economic and cultural standards are extremely low. This is the result of discrimination, but at the same time it is also the cause of the promotion and reproduction of discrimination. Therefore, one of the central tasks of the policy to solve the fundamental problems of the dōwa issue is the resolution of industrial and occupation problems in the dōwa areas and to establish an economic foundation that guarantees the improvement of the economic and cultural standards of the residents of the dōwa areas.

In view of the above, the basic direction and objectives of the measures on industry and occupation as dōwa measures should be as follows,

  1. In backward areas (kōshin chiku) with poor economic foundations such as the dōwa areas, it is necessary to carry out social development and economic development in tandem or to precede social development with economic development. In other words, with the aim of reforming the non-modern socio-economic structure of the dōwa area and building a modern local community, various measures to improve the life, culture and welfare of the residents should be actively implemented in conjunction with economic development plans, and the areas should be developed in the direction of promoting economic development within itself.

  2. There is a large number of stagnant overpopulation in the dōwa areas, and it is anticipated that, in the process of rapid economic growth, there will be a large number of unemployed people and people who will be forced to change jobs as a result of the decline of industry in the areas. Moreover, the problem is even more serious because of the added difficulty of finding work due to discrimination. It is necessary to develop the human abilities of the stagnant overpopulation in these areas to train them as a quality workforce and enable them to work in the modern industrial sector. This should be carried out actively, with particular emphasis on young workers who have newly graduated from school.

  3. Economic development in the dōwa areas must be carried out with special consideration given to the special circumstances of the areas as part of the policy to eliminate the so-called dual structure of the Japanese economy. In other words, the actual conditions of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, various manufacturing, sales and service industries in the area should be ascertained, and a policy of protection and development through special subsidies and loans should be adopted for those that have the conditions or potential to exist as modern enterprises in order to support and develop Japan's industrial economy, and for those micro and small enterprises belonging to declining industrial sectors that cannot avoid the fate of early downfall, various measures should be taken, such as facilitating the transformation of their occupations.
     

(2) Specific measures

  1. Measures on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries

    1. Actively provide subsidies and guidance for facility projects such as land improvement, soil improvement, development and creation of agricultural land, facilities for agricultural roads, water use, drainage, etc., and land exchange and subdivision.

    2. Actively provide subsidies and guidance on technical improvements necessary for the introduction of power, machinery, science and technology, and the development and expansion of workshops, warehouses, and other shared-use facilities.

    3. Encouraging and guiding the shift to diversified management of livestock, sericulture, dairy farming, fruit trees, horticulture, and agricultural processing in the right areas, and actively providing subsidies and low-interest, long-term loans for the development of communal facilities necessary for this, and technical guidance on production management, etc.

    4. Actively provide subsidies, low-interest and long-term loans and other assistance measures for the clearance of state-owned and publicly owned forests, fields and swamps that can be cultivated, and for the cultivation, farming and construction of housing.

    5. Discrimination in relation to rights of accession to common lands such as forests and grasslands, and rights of water rights, etc., should be abolished, and appropriate administrative measures should be taken to promote the use, management, and democratisation of such common lands.

    6. In order to facilitate farmers who, wish to leave farming and change their occupation, take active measures to provide the necessary support, including the provision of funds for changing occupation, vocational guidance and training, and job placement, and work towards the rapid implementation of a compensation system for farmers who have left farming.

    7. Actively provide subsidies and low-interest, long-term loans for the construction and improvement of fishing facilities, including the construction of fishing reefs, aquaculture farms and other fishing production infrastructure, the building of powered fishing boats, the maintenance of fishing gear and the construction or renovation of fishing ports.

    8. For small-scale fishermen who wish to change their occupation to another industry, provide actively assistance measures such as loans for changing occupation, guidance on changing occupation, vocational training, and job placement, as well as special measures to reward those who leave the fishing industry, and actively take measures to stabilise and improve their livelihoods.

    9. Establish and implement measures for the unemployed in rural areas and for migrant workers.

  2. Measures for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

    1. Encourage and guide the organisation of business cooperatives, etc., provide guidance and assistance for the expansion and improvement of the operation of existing cooperatives, and actively take measures to promote rationalisation such as enterprise consolidation and the modernisation of employment relations, working conditions, etc.

    2. Actively take various measures to promote the modernisation of enterprises and improve productivity by making use of the system for loans and the modernisation of facilities (setsubi kindai ka shikin kashitsuke seido) for the public facilities of cooperatives.

    3. The current system of subsidies for technological improvement and technical guidance (genkō gijyutsu kaizen hi hojokin) should be expanded and improved, and public test and research institutions should be expanded and strengthened to promote technological innovation in “buraku” small, medium, and micro enterprises.

  3. Measures to improve employment conditions.

    1. In order to promote employment of new graduates in modern industries, co-operation between employment security agencies and educational institutions should be made closer, and various measures such as vocational guidance, job placement and retention guidance should be expanded and strengthened.

    2. If a job seeker from a target area requests it, the employment promotion agency should guarantee their personal references.

    3. Expand and strengthen the job security co-operator system (shokugyō antei kyōryokuin seido) and take special measures to select and deploy co-operators in order to promote the smooth employment of persons from the target areas.

    4. Increase and expand vocational training centres and actively provide vocational training for middle-aged and older workers, unemployed, underemployed people and those who have changed jobs, etc. from the target areas, and consider measures to increase training allowances and work towards that implementation.

    5. Actively implement various measures to promote the employment of people who have changed jobs and employees in agriculture, fisheries, and small and micro enterprises.

    6. Actively implement various measures necessary to seek the understanding of employers, and strongly raise awareness and provide guidance in accordance with the Employment Security Law in order to eradicate discriminatory treatment in relation to employment selection criteria, recruitment policies and selection methods.

    7. Expand workplace adaptation training in order to promote the employment of middle-aged and older persons of “buraku” origin and other jobseekers who have difficulty finding work.

    8. Expand and strengthen measures on unemployment, such as improving the treatment of labourers in employment projects for the unemployed, promoting employment, and handling the registration conditions of new unemployed people basing it with the actual situation.

    9. Take measures to promote the permanent employment of workers in precarious employment relationships, such as firm-external and temporary workers.

    10. Further strengthen guidance and supervision on the strict implementation and application of labour laws and regulations and social insurance systems in small, medium and micro enterprises.

4 Measures concerning education issues

(1) Basic principle

Educational measures to resolve the dōwa issue must be given particular importance as they play a major role in human development. In other words, it is fundamentally a task essential to the establishment of democracy. Therefore, the central task of dōwa education is, based on the principle of equality under the law, to eliminate the irrational discrimination against the buraku that persists in society and to uphold the spirit of respect for human rights. In this education, in the light of the right to education (Article 26 of the Constitution) and equal opportunity in education (Article 3 of the Fundamental Law of Education), measures to enhance education in dōwa areas must be strongly promoted and educational activities that respect individual dignity and a rational spirit must be actively developed nationwide. In particular, enlightening education must be actively conducted even in areas not directly concerned.

  1. Necessity of establishing a basic guiding policy on dōwa education
    With regard to dōwa education as a dōwa measure, regrettably the country lacks clarity on the basic guidance policies. There is no denying that the promotion of democratic education with respect for human rights helps to eliminate regional disparities. However, while post-war democratic education has been effective towards that direction, the fact that the shameful discrimination still exists in Japanese society today, 20 years after the war, needs to be reflected on. In other words, education that respects basic human rights in the spirit of the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education should be implemented correctly throughout the country, and in the process of its concrete development, it is necessary to promote education that is in line with local conditions and based on special considerations. Moreover, this must be considered in the context of universal education, which demands the correct recognition and understanding of all citizens, rather than special education limited to the dōwa areas. Based on this recognition, it is necessary for the state to establish a basic guiding policy for dōwa education. It goes without saying that “educational neutrality” (kyōiku chūritsu sei) must be protected in promoting dōwa education. A clear distinction of the relationship between dōwa education and political or social movements must be made, and the idea that these movements themselves are also education must be avoided.

  2. Positivity of the educational administration functions 
    The current lack of clarity in national guidance policy has led to significant disparities in the measures taken by prefectural boards of education and other bodies, and to various differences in the movements of private educational organisations, the effects of which are particularly severe at the stage of compulsory education. The existence of such disparities in education administration has a major impact on the liberation of the dōwa areas. The establishment of a nationally balanced administrative system is requested.

  3. Enhancement and lack of leaders in dōwa education
    Dōwa education is promoted in all educational settings, including school, social, and home education. What is particularly important is the lack of leaders with a deep awareness and understanding of the dōwa issue, regardless of whether they are from the dōwa or general area. It can be said that the number of areas in which dōwa education is effectively promoted is proportional to the number of teachers and leaders who are interested in this field of education. In other words, in terms of local conditions, whether it is school or social education, where there are enthusiastic leaders, it can be said that the dōwa education is being carried out well. The improvement of the lives of the residents and the elimination of discriminatory attitudes in society are not always easy to overcome, as the origins are deep and wide-ranging. In particular, the need for leaders is keenly felt in order to enhance life and culture, which are the basis for the liberation.

  4. Coordination of mutual contact between government agencies
    We dare not say that we are only concerned with dōwa education. However, there are many deficiencies, especially in the horizontal coordination between the various government agencies involved in the dōwa measures. The connection to the welfare and social security under the Ministry of Health and Welfare is needed for the procedures against long absences and non-attendance in school, while the employment of middle and high school graduates is related to vocational training and job placement services provided by the Ministry of Labour, in line with career guidance. Concerning social education, there are many aspects that require coordination, such as close cooperation with youth and women's organisations related to social education, and the relationship between welfare facilities such as neighbourhood halls under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and community centres and assembly halls under the Ministry of Education.

     

2) Specific measures

  1. School education

    1. Clarification of goals and methods of dōwa education
      Clarify the specific goals and methods of teaching of dōwa education and ensure that they are thoroughly planned. In particular, efforts should be made to provide the correct recognition of discriminatory events, etc. in the educational setting.

    2. Measures to improve academic performance
      Since the improvement of the academic ability of children from the dōwa area is closely related to their future higher education and employment, and thus to the improvement of the standard of living and culture in the area, the following educational conditions should be established, together with other measures, to improve the academic ability of the pupils, and the learning supervision should be more thoroughly planned.

    3. Measures on career guidance
      Career guidance should be more actively provided to pupils from the dōwa area. In particular, for those who wish to find employment, close cooperation should be sought from employment security agencies, etc., so that they can easily find employment in the industries and establishments of their choice and be guided so that they will be able to settle in those occupations in the future.

    4. ​​Measures concerning health and hygiene
      Special consideration shall be given to health management and guidance, such as encouraging group medical examinations for children and students from the dōwa areas.

    5. Measures to support school attendance and higher education for children from the dōwa area

      1. Special consideration should be given when allocating school attendance incentive fees to pupils who have difficulty in attending school due to economic reasons.

      2. Special assistance measures should be provided to facilitate the advancement to high schools and above.

    6. Special consideration should be given by the boards of education of the relevant prefectures to schools in dōwa areas when allocating teachers.

    7. Measures to improve the qualifications and preferential treatment of teachers and staff.

      1. Special measures should be taken at universities with teacher training faculties to ensure that those who are to become teachers deepen their understanding of the dōwa issue.

      2. Materials necessary for dōwa education should be prepared and distributed to teaching staff (teachers, headmasters and school board staff). Special pay raises, and other preferential measures should be given to teachers and staff of schools with dōwa areas.

    8. Measures concerning the maintenance of school facilities and equipment.
      Special consideration should be given to further promote the improvement of facilities in elementary and middle schools and kindergartens in dōwa areas, where there are many poor families.

    9. Measures concerning schools designated for dōwa education and research
      The state and prefectures should increase the number of schools designated for research on dōwa education and increase research funds.

    10. Measures to subsidise dōwa education research groups
      Subsidies should be provided for research conducted by education and research groups on dōwa education.

       

  2. Social education

    1. To encourage and assist the opening and holding of classes, courses, lectures, workshops, etc. for young people, adults, women, etc. in dōwa areas, and to provide opportunities for residents to improve their educational standards, to improve human relations at home and in the community, and to rationalise their lives.

    2. To actively address issues such as respect for human rights, a rational attitude to life, a scientific spirit, and a sense of social solidarity in youth classes, adult classes, home education classes, lectures and seminars for young people, adults, and women in general districts, and to promote social education activities to deepen understanding of the dōwa issue in accordance with the actual situation in the region.

    3. In order to promote the independent and organised educational activities of the residents in the dōwa areas and to help them improve their own educational standards, the formation of children's associations, youth groups, women's associations and other social education-related groups for boys, young people and women should be supported and their positive activities should be encouraged. In addition, to deepen understanding of the dōwa issue in line with the actual situation in the area, schools, society, and families in the dōwa area should be encouraged to organically cooperate with each other.

    4. When discrimination occurs, appropriate education should be provided in social education in line with the matter.

    5. In order to ensure the effective operation of social education facilities in dōwa areas, full-time, competent staff should be assigned to such facilities.

    6. Improve the qualifications of leaders in social education and strengthen their leadership skills.

    7. In order to improve the qualifications of instructors, boards of education and other bodies concerned with social education should prepare reference materials on dōwa education in social education in accordance with local conditions, etc., and actively present case studies and exchange information with each other at workshops for instructors on dōwa education.

    8. In order to improve the standard of education in the dōwa areas, the maintenance and enhancement of dōwa area meeting places should be promoted. In doing so, consideration should be given to organic cooperation with the neighbourhood halls.

    9. With regard to government subsidies for the establishment of dōwa area meeting halls, improvements should be made in terms of the unit price per tsubo 3,31 square meters (tsubo), area covered by subsidies, equipment items covered by subsidies, etc. In addition, consideration should be given to expanding state subsidies for the project costs of dōwa area meetings halls set up by municipalities.

    10. In regard to the operation of dōwa area meeting halls, consideration should be given not only to providing them for the public use of residents, but also to actively developing social education activities such as classes and lectures by the meeting halls themselves, so that they can fully demonstrate their functions as social education facilities.

5 Measures on human rights issues

(1) Basic principle

The Constitution of Japan guarantees as one of the fundamental human rights that no-one shall be discriminated against in political, economic, or social relations because of race, beliefs, sex, social status or family origin, and declares that this right should be respected to the maximum extent in legislation and other national policies. However, the results of the Council's survey revealed that many of the areas' residents had experienced discrimination “in employment”, “in professional relationships and treatment”, “in marriage” or “in relations with neighbours or in school”. Moreover, in cases of such discrimination, there is no adequate guarantee of access to judicial or administrative defence. If the state or public authorities enact discriminatory legislation or take discriminatory administrative measures, they will be immediately declared null and void as a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. However, even if there is a discriminatory act against a private individual, “discrimination” itself cannot be directly regulated, except in cases where there are special regulations, such as in the Labour Standards Act or other labour-related laws. The lack of legal regulation of 'discriminatory events' has resulted in a lack of public awareness of the reality of 'discrimination' and its impact on the discriminated, and a failure to recognise that 'discrimination' itself is a serious social evil.

  1. Establishment of a human rights protection institutional structure
    The current structure, which places the protection of fundamental human rights under the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Protection Bureau (Jinken Yōgo Kyoku), an internal department of the Ministry of Justice, and has the Legal Affairs Bureau and Regional Legal Affairs Bureau, which are mainly responsible for civil administration, handling the field work, needs to be reconsidered. The structure of the Human Rights Protection Bureau is also inappropriate in that those who have handled family registers (koseki) and registries are assigned to human rights protection duties. It is also pointed out that the number of staff directly involved in this broad and important task of protecting fundamental human rights is less than 200 nationwide, and that the budget for this task is extremely meagre.

  2. In view of the nomination procedures and the current status of the assignment of human rights protection commissioners, as well as the status of human rights protection activities, further consideration is required to ensure that suitable persons are assigned appropriately to the appointment process. The system of reimbursement of actual expenses (jippi benshōkin seido) also needs to be paid at a cost sufficient to enable them to fulfil their functions.

  3. Understanding and awareness of the dōwa issue
    The current understanding and awareness of the dōwa issue among those in charge and committee members is not necessarily sufficient. It is recognised that efforts should be made to understand the importance of the issue by strengthening training and seminars.

  4. Positivity of human rights protection activities
    The activities of human rights protection institutions are to educate infringers about the respect for human rights and to make them voluntarily take measures to stop or eliminate the infringement or to restore the damage caused and not to stop the infringement directly under their authority. Therefore, in the current situation where this method has to be used, awareness and enthusiasm for awareness-raising activities to eradicate discriminatory attitudes is particularly important for the persons in charge and the Commissioners.

     

(2) Specific measures

  1. Firstly, identify the actual situation of discrimination cases and clarify that discrimination is an intolerable social evil.

  2. Legislate against discrimination, take the necessary legislative measures to protect against discrimination and expand the paths for judicial aid.

  3. To promote the activities of the Human Rights Institutions, fundamentally, a new reorganisation of the institutions should be undertaken, taking into account national research, organisation and composition of the Human Rights Institutions, as well as matters relating to the Human Rights Commissioners. However, the following measures must also be taken urgently by the current institutions.

    1. Significantly increase the number of staff in charge and allocate them on a priority basis.

    2. Revise the commissioning system (iin ishoku seido) to ensure that those truly qualified for the job are selected and place more emphasis on their assignment.

    3. Actively consult on human rights, conduct fact-finding surveys, make contact with local communities through these means, and take measures to make the results known to the staff in charge and the commissioners. In addition, efforts should be made to strengthen training and seminars in order to cultivate an awareness of the dōwa issue and enthusiasm for the correct resolution of discrimination cases.

    4. When investigating discrimination cases, awareness-raising activities should be carried out in conjunction for residents living in the surrounding areas, and these activities should be continued unceasingly.

    5. Ensure and guarantee a sufficient budget to carry out the above measures.

Conclusion:
Direction of the dōwa administration

In order to solve the fundamental problems of the dōwa issue, it is the responsibility of the state to put concrete proposals into practice strongly and promptly, based on the above-mentioned understanding. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly position the dōwa measures within policies to combat the dōwa issue as a national political issue and to correctly orientate the goals of administrative policy for the dōwa measures. To this end, institutional guarantees must be given to the various measures implemented by the state and local government s to solve the dōwa issue, and in particular the following items must be promptly examined and implemented and are the key element for the future of the dōwa measures.

  1. Although there are a number of laws directly related to the dōwa measures among the existing laws and regulations, the administrative measures implemented based on these laws and regulations are all operated as general administrative measures, and measures for dōwa areas are effectively left outside the framework of these laws and regulations. This should be improved and a 'Special Measures Law' should be enacted, which stipulates operational considerations and special measures for the relevant systems under the clear objectives of the dōwa measures.

  2. Dōwa measures should be promoted with a new attitude by strengthening future government measures, and for this purpose it is necessary to consider a new administrative structure to accommodate this. In order to maintain uniformity in government measures and to more actively promote their progress, the existing Ministerial Advisory Group on the Dōwa Issue in the Cabinet should be further enhanced and an organisation such as the Council for the Promotion of Dōwa Policies (Dōwa Taisaku Suishin Kyōgikai) should be established in the state to discuss the formulation of plans for measures and the smooth implementation of such plans.

  3. In order to ensure the unity of the standard of various dōwa measures in local authorities  and to ensure their active promotion, the state should oblige local authorities to implement dōwa projects and strengthen the state 's financial support measures for these dōwa . In this case, special measures should be taken with consideration of the actual situation compared to other general project subsidies, by expanding the scope, increasing the rate and setting a real unit price for the amount of subsidies.

  4. Measures should be taken, such as the establishment of an organisation in the form of a government -funded enterprise association, in order to respond to and complement the promotion of government measures and to ensure their effectiveness as soon as possible.

  5. In order to foster the development of various enterprises in the dōwa areas, consideration should be given to measures such as special loans for these enterprises.

  6. For the fundamental solution of the dōwa issue and the efficient implementation of dōwa measures, a comprehensive plan should be formulated from a long-term perspective, and concrete annual plans should be established covering various aspects such as environmental improvement, industry, occupation and education.

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