JCP comments on government-proposed human rights watchdog

The Council for Human Rights Promotion, an advisory panel to the justice minister, on May 25 submitted to the minister a report calling for a watchdog body to be established, independent of the government, concerning human rights violations.

On behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, JCP Dietmember Kijima Hideo on the day published the JCP view on the report.

The JCP statement said that the proposal for a body outside the government to combat human rights violations has positive significance. At the same time, it finds fault with the proposal for lacking in measures regarding human rights violations committed by public authorities and large corporations, and the lack of an institutional guarantee as an independent body.

Against the background of rampant worker discrimination in wage and employment on the grounds of ideology or gender by large corporations, as well as never-ending human rights violations by police and other administrative authorities, Kijima called for the new body to satisfy certain requirements as a minimum.

Kijima said that the fundamental requirement is that the body should not be limited to settling individual cases of human rights violation, but should have the clear comprehensive authority to carry out investigations and make recommendations to the government.

As regards human rights violations by the mass media, Kijima said that such cases should be voluntarily settled by a voluntarily-established body, so that freedom of speech would not be infringed upon during the process. The human rights watchdog will take part by carrying out research, mediation, and making recommendations.

Kijima also requested that the proposed body not ingratiate itself with and support particular movements which may make biased calls on the pretext of ending buraku (discriminated hamlets) discrimination. (end)