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JAPAN – The Ainu to establish a national network

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associations of the Ainu, the indigenous people originating from Hokkaido, a
northern island of Japan, decided to establish a nation-wide network in
September 2009, according to Kyodo News on 1 September 2009. 

Through this
new network, the associations will share information and strategise to urge the
Japanese government to come up with policies to improve the social status of
the Ainu people. The new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was
elected in Hokkaido, the Ainu ancestral territory. By building a network, the
Ainu in Japan hope to have stronger voice in the government. They will urge the
government to establish a new law on the Ainu and cooperate with it to research
on the realities of the Ainu outside Hokkaido, reported Doshin Web, a news
website from Hokkaido.

government recognised the Ainu as an indigenous people through the passage of
the Diet "Resolution calling for the Recognition of the Ainu People as an
Indigenous People of Japan". Adopted a
month before the G8 Summit in July 2008, held in Hokkaido, this was seen as a political
concession to the Ainu. 

Japan voted
for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2008
but had earlier refused to accept any moves by indigenous peoples for