Two Indigenous peoples, the Ainu and the Okinawans, reside in Japan. The former live in the northernmost part and the latter live in the southernmost. In this paper, we present the history of and contemporary issues surrounding discrimination against the Ainu, and consider bioethical issues pertinent to them. First, we refer to a long history of opposition toward the Ainu in Japan. The Ainu have suffered serious long-term discrimination and human rights violations, including the deprivation of their ethnic autonomy and traditional residence; murder; forced assimilation, labor, and migration; compulsory withdrawal of children; and destruction and loss of their language, culture, religion, traditions, and customs. Second, we consider research using the Ainu in Japan. In the name of science, including phrenology, extensive excavations of Ainu's human remains had occurred without informing living Ainu residents or obtaining their permission. The Ainu people were completely objectified in these research activities. Currently, over 1600 Ainu ancestral remains are stored in twelve Japanese universities. Finally, we consider how we might prevent majority ethnic groups from unethical behaviors and attitudes toward Indigenous peoples, including future research studies that may discriminate and objectify other human beings.
|Title of host publication||Indigenous Health Ethics|
|Subtitle of host publication||An Appeal To Human Rights|
|Publisher||World Scientific Publishing Co.|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Apr 6|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions(all)