The Japanese government has introduced a to recognize the country's ethnic Ainu group as an "indigenous" people. It is the time for Japan's government to do . It comes after decades of lobbying and campaigning by Ainu people to be recognized. The Ainu are an people of Japan originating in Japan's northern of Hokkaido, north-eastern Honshu, and islands between Japan and Russia. Their number today is around 25,000, but many estimate a more accurate figure to be around 200,000. Many Ainu have been completely assimilated into Japanese and have no knowledge of their or historical roots, traditions and culture.
The Japan Today website wrote about the the Ainu have faced. It said: "The Ainu people...have long suffered the of a policy of forced , and while discrimination has receded gradually, income and education gaps with the of Japan persist." Japan's government spoke about the of passing the new legislation. It said: "It is important to protect the honor and of the Ainu people and to hand those down to the next to realize a vibrant society with diverse ." Ainu spokesman Tadashi Kato said: "It feels like we woke up now from a truly sleep....It will lead to building a society where we cohabit together. We think this is the first ."