It is almost indisputable that the Japanese were guilty of genocide against the Ainu inhabitants of the far North. In enotes, under “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity”, we find:
Japanese employed different discriminatory policies towards its ethnic minorities, who were located at the country’s geographical margins (Hokkaido in the north and Okinawa in the south). Once again, domestic and international political pressures converged, this time in the context of establishing a modern nation-state. The Ainu, who comprised the indigenous population of northeastern Honshu, Hokkaido, and the adjacent islands (the Kurils and southern Sakhalin), began to be recognized as a distinct ethnic group only in the sixteenth century. At that time, the Tokugawa shogunate designated Hokkaido a buffer zone vis-à-vis Northeast Asian areas with which the Ainu had once formed an autonomous trading region. This was accomplished by the gradual conversion of much of the Ainu hunting and gathering economy into forced dependency on Japanese contract-fishing. An unintended outcome of this policy was the introduction of new diseases such as smallpox, which reached epidemic proportions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet it was the Meiji state’s perceived need to secure Hokkaido as Japanese territory against Russian interests that underlay its aggressive policy of assimilation through deculturation. Begun in 1871, and institutionalized by the Hokkaido Former Natives Protection Act of 1899, the Meiji colonization project systematically eliminated the Ainu language, religion, customs (i.e., tattooing and wearing earrings), and lifestyles. Land redistribution, often accompanied by forced relocation, made Ainu into impoverished agriculturists indentured to Japanese immigrant landowners. The Ainu were classified as imperial subjects, whose decreasing numbers distinguished them in public discourse as a “dying race.” From approximately 80,000 in the early eighteenth century, the Ainu population had decreased to 16,000 by 1873, accounting for 14.63 percent of the total population in Hokkaido. By 1939, they constituted only 0.54 percent of Hokkaido’s population, even though the actual number of Ainu, now heavily intermarried with Japanese, remained about the same. In the later decades of the twentieth century, an Ainu ethnopolitical movement began to address this historical treatment. The adoption of the Ainu New Law in 1984 marks the viability of the movement, which recognizes the genocidal quality of Japanese policy towards the Ainu and forges links with a worldwide indigenous peoples’ movement.
Here we find many components of genocide: Disenfranchisement, violence, serfdom, repression of their language and customs, unfair laws and marginalization. But, unpleasant as these things were, and painful as they must be to contemplate, they are all reversible. The one thing that is not reversible is the “heavily intermarried with Japanese” part.
One contemporary Ainu, himself married to a Japanese, admits that American-style reservations would not work because…
“There is lots and lots of mixed blood between Ainu and Japanese. I feel it is very difficult to claim land, to say, `This used to be our land.'”
In other words, how can a people lay claim to a land, when there is no longer a distinct people? Perhaps the goal of Ainu activists is merely to preserve Ainu language as an academic language, like Latin or ancient Greek, and to preserve Ainu customs merely so that people whose great grandfather was an Ainu can dust off their traditional garb and show it off a couple of times a year on special occasions. When a man, who claims to be an “Ainu activist” marries a non-Ainu, I would say that the Japanese have succeeded in their genocide of this people.
To the extent that there are any real Ainu left, should the pro-white movements show concern, and solidarity, for them? Perhaps we can arrange for a shipment of hairy whites* to be imported to Hokkaido, declare themselves “Ainu”, learn the Ainu language and culture and, voila! The Ainu people will have been reborn.
* Yes, I know there is controversy about any relationship they may have to Europeans. It’s a joke.