Japan Govt OKs Bill to Recognize Ainu People as Indigenous

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--The government on Friday adopted an Ainu people assistance bill, which would be Japan's first law that recognizes the group as indigenous.

The government will set up a subsidy program to help reinvigorate Ainu communities and promote related businesses and tourism services. Possible projects include those to open places for exchange activities between Ainu people and other local residents.

The government hopes that the bill will be enacted during the current parliamentary session ending in June.

The bill calls on cities, towns and villages to make plans, subject to state approval, for Ainu-related measures. Subsidies will be provided for regional revitalization measures based on state-approved plans.

Among the expected measures are tourism promotion to publicize Ainu culture, as well as craft production featuring traditional Ainu designs.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press