The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Doudou Diène, will visit Japan from 3 to 12 July 2005 at the invitation of the Government.

The Special Rapporteur will travel to Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido to investigate the situation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the country, in particular in relation to a number of minority groups, such as the Buraku, the Korean and Chinese communities and the Ainu indigenous people from Hokkaido. He will also assess the factors of discrimination in the treatment of migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers.

Mr. Diène is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Japanese Government, both at national and local levels, with members of the judiciary, with non-governmental organizations and with individuals dealing with issues related to his mandate, as well as with United Nations officials.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a report on the visit to Japan to the sixty-second session of the Commission on Human Rights, in March 2006, and will include a summary of his findings in an interim report to the General Assembly this fall. Mr. Diène was initially appointed by the Commission to the position of Special Rapporteur on racism in 2002. His mandate was renewed a further period of three years in April of this year.