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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 2 - 8  > Reflection on past colonial rule is necessary to end racism
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2020 September 2 - 8 TOP3 [WORLD]

Reflection on past colonial rule is necessary to end racism

September 7, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Anti-racism movements are increasing in the world following a spate of deadly violence against African Americans by white police officers in the United States.

In May, police officers in Minnesota killed an unarmed black man followed by a police shooting of a black man in the back in Wisconsin in August. Protesters in many countries are calling for an end to persistent racial discrimination.

After the May murder, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution criticizing the violence against African Americans and reaffirmed the importance of the "Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA)" which stipulates that all peoples, irrespective of race or ethnic group, are equally entitled to fundamental human rights.

The Declaration was adopted at the 2001 World Conference against Racism held by the United Nations in Durban, South Africa. The DDPA acknowledges that "slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity", pointing out that "colonialism had led to racism". The DDPA affirms that, "wherever and whenever it occurred, it must be condemned and its recurrence prevented". The DDPA regards colonialism as an ongoing problem, not a thing of the past.

After the end of WWII, the colonial system collapsed, leading to the birth of more than 100 supposedly sovereign nations. This was a major structural change in the 20th century world. Criticism of colonialism is growing in former colonial powers. This shows that the people of the world actively share the recognition of a global structural change.

Japan is also guilty of past colonial rule. During prewar and wartime militarism, Japan expanded its colonies to Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, and Northeast China and initiated the Asia-Pacific War. The government of Japan still does not acknowledge its past crimes associated with its colonial empire. Japan as well as other past colonial powers have to reflect seriously on their history of aggression and colonial rule.

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