Video Message by Prime Minister Kishida at the Symposium on Inclusive Society and Human Rights

February 5, 2024

[Provisional translation]


I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan.
On the occasion of the Symposium on “Inclusive Society and Human Rights,” I would like to deliver a few words of welcome.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations in 2015, consist of 17 goals under the principle of ensuring “no one is left behind.” Achieving an inclusive society, one of the initiatives of the Government toward the realization of the SDGs, is an important mission that we must accomplish.
Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon in Japan to hear of cases where people such as foreigners, those with disabilities, the Ainu people and sexual minorities are subjected to unfair discrimination in finding employment and housing and on the Internet.
Needless to say, we do not tolerate unfair and discriminatory treatment of minorities or unfair and discriminatory words and deeds.
In recent years, there have also been cases where people with roots in foreign countries have been subject to unfair and discriminatory words and deeds on grounds they belong to a specific ethnic group or nationality, and have even been victimized by crimes such as arson and defamation due to prejudice and other factors. This has forced some others to fearfully think that they might be the next victim, as they carry on their lives.
As I have repeatedly said in the Diet, there should never be in any society unfair and discriminatory words and deeds intended to exclude people of a particular ethnic group or nationality, and even more so when it comes to violence and crimes committed with such motives.
Japan has attached importance to universal values such as the “rule of law” and “respect for fundamental human rights,” and has shared them with the international community. What we should aim for is a world where “human dignity” is defended to ensure all people can live in safety and security. As Prime Minister of Japan, I will stand firm against unfair discrimination and prejudice that undermine this principle.
In order to achieve an inclusive society, it is important for us to understand the difference among us and accept them one another. The Government is making various efforts to eliminate unfair discrimination and prejudice. Today’s symposium, held as part of these efforts, has a sub-theme of “Aiming for a Diverse and Inclusive Society” and its rich content will allow you to gain a variety of knowledge and awareness that will contribute to the realization of an inclusive society. Please stay online until the end, deepen your understanding on diversity and take the first step by doing what you can.
The Government will continue to make steady efforts toward the realization of an inclusive society. Let us work together towards this objective.


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