Japan considered themselves to be a homogeneous nation - meaning that their country is made up of ONE nation, language, history, and culture. This was characterized in the Meiji period (1868-1913) (Hanami in Maher and Macdonald, 1995).
What is so very wrong with this national characterization is that the Japanese government failed to recognize the Ainu peoples that have resided in Japan for many centuries. Is Japan really a homogeneous country when the Ainu are so different from the Japanese?
The government is trying to change their direction in accepting more diversity for Japan (Hanami in Maher and Macdonald, 1995). Just because the Ainu are an ethnic minority, doesn't mean they should be excluded, right? Right.
1995 Minority Dynamics in Japan: Towards a Society of Sharing. In John C. Maher and Gaynor Macdonald, eds. Diversity in Japanese Culture and Language. London, England: Kegan Paul International. 121.