Reconstituting Japanese Law: International Norms and Domestic Litigation

This Essay proceeds in four parts. Part I situates these lawsuits in the context of Japan’s growing ethnic diversity. Part II analyzes a decade of racial discrimination lawsuits in Japan, ultimately synthesizing the elements of a compensable act of racial discrimination under current Japanese law. Part III begins with a brief examination of the role of international law in Japan before turning to discussions between the Japanese government and U.N. bodies regarding the proper treatment of foreigners in Japan and the desirability of anti-discrimination laws. Part IV then discusses several failed attempts by national and local lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination legislation and ordinances. A brief conclusion follows.