The delegation to China is monumental because it is the first time a foreign country invites Ainu to represent themselves as minority Indigenous peoples.
The delegation speaks to the influences of the Hokkaido Ainu Association, an organization that fights for Ainu people from Hokkaido to be recognized as culturally distinct.
According to Kaizawa Tadashi, the delegation leader:
“This visit represented a moment of historical significance for Ainu people: the first time an all Ainu delegation was officially invited by a nation the scale of China, and for us it would be a new and challenging experience to conduct exchanges in a country with such a different system from Japan.”
Image source: ann-elise lewallen