A group of three foreign-born individuals living in Japan are suing the government for institutionalized racial discrimination they claim to face while living in Japan.
The lawsuit, which seeks 3 million Japanese yen (approximately $20.3 thousand USD) for each plaintiff alleges they have faced discrimination while living in the country. Their alleged experiences range from social isolation to police harassment.
One of the plaintiffs Matthew, alleges that he has been stopped by police over 70 times since he began living in Japan. This is in spite of seemingly not having any sort of criminal record.
At least one of the plaintiffs has lived in Japan since he was six years old, was raised in the country, and speaks fluent Japanese but claims to still experience discrimination due to his ethnicity.
The defendants sued by the men include the National Police Agency, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Aichi Prefectural Government.
Aichi’s government is particularly notable in this case, Japan’s national broadcasting agency NHK reportedly produced an excerpt from the Aichi police manual that explicitly instructs officers to investigate people who look like foreigners.
The developments in the case have come less than a month after a Ukrainian-born woman was declared the winner of Miss Japan.