Categories Asia, Community Fisheries, Japan, Multimedia, Updates

Video: Ainu Nation’s lawsuit in Japan over Indigenous fishing rights

The lawsuit, which seeks to allow Ainu People to fish for salmon under their Indigenous rights, is the first of its kind in Japan

The Kamuynomi, or Kamuy-nomi, is a traditional Ainu ritual to offer prayers to the gods. Photo: Japan Heritage Council for the Promotion of Kamikawa Ainu

First published on 06/06/2023, and last updated on 06/08/2023

Shared by ICCA Consortium

In a recent Press Conference held in Tokay, Japan, representatives from the Raporo Ainu Nation from Japan, the Haida Nation from Canada, and the Saami Council from Europe explained the Ainu Nation’s legal struggle with the Japanese government to secure Indigenous fishing rights.

The lawsuit was filed in 2020 by the Raporo Ainu Nation in Urahoro, Hokkaido and still ongoing.

A press note by the journalists’ association, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) said the speakers also discussed “the challenges to Indigenous peoples worldwide who are fighting for their traditional rights.”

The speakers at the press conference were Masaki Sashima, President of Raporo Ainu Nation (Japan); Aslak Holmberg (Aslak Holmberg (Sámi; ICCA Consortium Honorary member), President of the Saami Council (Europe); and Russ Jones, Hereditary chief of the Haida Nation (Canada). FCCJ hosted the press conference in their Tokyo office on May 29, 2023.

Press Conference: “Ainu Nation Lawsuit and International Indigenous Maritime Rights.” Video: FCCJ

Learn More

Backgrounder on Ainu Rights Issues by CEMiPoS

Indigenous Fishing Rights in Japan: A Conversation with Hatakeyama Ekasi

Presentation by Hiroshi Maruyama and Eleonore Komai: “The Ainu and fishing rights in Japan: historical legacies and ways forward.” The presentation was part of the 2021 Solidarity Exchange, “Sustaining Territories of Life: A solidarity exchange on Indigenous decolonization and sustainable self-determination,” organized by the ICCA Consortium. Video: ICCA Consortium