Saturday, 18 May 2024

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Ainu People


WELCOME to the third in our series of articles looking at the various indigenous peoples of the world. At the start of the year we highlighted the cause of the Aboriginal Australians. We followed this up mid-way through last month with a look at the plight of the Aché People. This time around we’re featuring the Ainu People.

The idea behind this series of articles from Nations without States – NwS – is twofold:

Firstly, tohighlight the plight of peoples who aspire to nationhood. These might be based on peoples or tribes based within a state or even across borders that may or may not have been independently organised in the past. They might have a linguistic or historical separateness from their neighbours or fellow citizens. All will aspire to recognition, autonomy or independence.

Secondly, to let those interested in Self-Determination (both activists & non-activists) that they cando something constructive to support the various indigenous peoples of the world. And that is to help our friends and comrades of the National Liberal Party select up to 25 candidates to fight the Greater London Authority elections (scheduled for this May) under the sloganSelf-Determination For All!

However, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the elections, let’s briefly rewind and take look at the Ainu People.

The Ainu are an indigenous ethnic people of Japan. Japan itself actually consists of nearly 7,000 islands, the main five being Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Okinawa. The capital of Japan (Tokyo) is located on Honshu. The Ainu live in Hokkaido – and also formerly in North EasternHonshu. (They also live in Russia (the Kuril Islands,Khabarovsk Krai, the Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin).

They tend to have fairer skin and more body hair than the Japanese. They have a different language and culture – where men wear earrings and women have prominent facial and body tattoos. They were notably a hunter-gatherer-fishing people with animistic beliefs. (Animalism is the belief that all things have a spirit or soul, including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars. The moon, and the sun.) The Ainu were conquered by the Japanese in the 9th century. This led to inter-ethnic conflict between differing groups – indeed, the Ainu rebelled against Japanese authority on several occasions.

The Ainu were laterforcibly & brutally assimilated into Japanese society – so much so, that whilst the official population is around 25,000, it’s thought that the real total could be around 200,000 as many Ainu people have no knowledge of their ancestry.

Indeed, it was only in 2008 that Japan formally recognised the Ainu as an indigenous group. However, like many other indigenous people they still suffer from social & social discrimination. Despite this, and as this article – – from five years ago shows, positive efforts are being made to keep theirdistinct language and culture alive.

With the above in mind, our friends in the National Liberal Party would like to bring the plight of the Ainu people to a wider audience. As we noted earlier, the NLP intends to fight the Greater London Authority elections under the slogan Self-Determination For All! It’s now 7th March and the elections will be held on 7th May. We acknowledge that this is a tight schedule, but it still gives some time for those who support self-determination to help out. Here’s how you can help power the campaign:

a) Sponsor a candidate at the election (contact

b) Make a donation (or pledgetowards the campaign via This will be used to support a social media campaign. Nearly £2000 has been raised towards the target of £3000. Please be generous but any amount will be gratefully received!

c) Activistsare urged to join theSelf-Determination Day Facebook group: Please invite your friends too. Please also promote all of the NLPs election literature/posters which’ll be viralled out via the Self-Determination Day site.

Nations without States understands that there are about 50,000 people of Japanese heritage living in the UK. We also know that London hosts several Japanese cultural and friendship festivals every year – the best known being London Japan Matsuri. As we’ve previously noted, there’s every possibility that some ‘Japanese’ may not be aware that they’re originally from Ainu stock.

If you know of any Ainu living in London – or anyone (no matter what their race or ethnic background) who has a special interest in their plight, tell them about the NLPs plans to fight the GLA elections on the basis ofSelf-Determination For All!

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