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Ethnic Korean children in Japan lose out after Pyongyang's nuclear test

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By Harumi Ozawa

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Ok, can somebody give me some clarifications on this? I've been debating about this and I'm surprised at the kind of response that I'd get (particularly from the Japanese left, although the right are equally crazy, if not more). If you say that it's ridiculous that there are pro-North Korean schools teaching pro-North Korean education (although it has "improved" over the recent years) in a democratic society, then you'd get called a "racist" or a "DPRK-basher" (WTF?). I think it's absolutely insane that they even used to teach the North Korean Juche ideology and how Kim Il Sung was born under a double rainbow and all that nonsense. Obviously the right ARE bashing these pro-North Koreans out of racist sentiments toward Koreans in general. That should stop.

This is what I know, from what I gathered:

These pro-North Korean schools (Chosen-gakko) are run by Chongryon, which is an organization closely linked to North Korea and sort of acts as an "unofficial embassy" for NK. The main purpose of this organization is to instill a sense loyalty to North Korea and the NK regime to the Zainichi-Koreans.

Even though Chongryon is closely related to North Korea, this organization is probably relatively harmless. The Japanese police have once done a massive raid on this organization, went through thousands of documents and the worst thing that they could find was not using the right permit or something like that.

These Chosen-gakko are categorized under "Miscellaneous schools", which is technically not a High School (koukou), which is why I understand they do NOT get the free high school tuition funding. However some are accusing that this is done out of racism and discrimination toward the North Korean schools.

They don't really teach "anti-Japanese education", however I believe that some parts of education could be dubious. I've heard the education being described from "North Korean brainwashing propaganda" to "totally normal curriculum, no different than ordinary Japanese education".

I believe that obviously, ethnic Korean education should continue, and should get funding from the government. However I believe that they should cut their ties from North Korea and Chongryon.

All this actual attack and racism and fear-mongering and xenophobic nonsense from the Japanese right should stop. The Japanese government has sadly done nothing about this, and probably won't for a long time.

So MY QUESTION IS THIS...: Is it legit that these schools do not and should not get any funding? Or is it because of "racism" and "discrimination" that they do not get funding? And should there be schools and an organization closely linked to North Korea? And finally, what should be done about it? What would be the ultimate solution... that would virtually satisfy everyone? (except for some extremists).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A couple of years back one of my coworkers got married. Turns out she was third generation Korean. She had a Japanese name, looked no different from other Japanese, and married a Japanese guy. She was worried about the other family accepting her, but they were very welcoming. We were all really surprised to hear all of this and asked her why she kept it a secret. Well, her mother had told her to keep a secret from when she was a child, fearing racism. Truth is, most people of younger generations really don't care what your ethnic background is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

all4faj-

That's rough if they didn't get their passports for that reason.

I had a j-Korean girlfriend, lived with me 2 years, AFTER we broke up and she moved out, one day we were talking and she revealed she was Korean! (She was actually jpns-changed nationality and name when a kid. But still.) And I am American, not a jpns she has to risk judging her. It'S deep, this stuff.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The problem itself is deep rooted , I was in Japan in the 80's and met a lot of young Japanese, well so I thought ( I remember a couple of friends that I had known for years ) eventually telling me their dark secret , they were of Korean descent , obviously it never bothered me, but some of our Japanese friends who had known them longer never knew and in their defence were never given the chance to show that it would not bother them either , they also didn't travel overseas as they didn't want their Japanese friends to see their passports,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Furthermore, the gov GIVES money to all private schools in some way or another, not just K schools.

No it doesn't give money to ALL private schools. Ones that are registered with MEXT maybe, but not all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Korean thing in Japan is a really complicated problem.

There are all sorts of aspects to it.

First, getting jpns citizenship means getting a Japanese name, with some acceptable kanji spelling. This is a real sticking point, understandably for some ppl. So not necessarily an easy option.

Second, for someone born and bred here and can't even speak Korean, this is their country, whether they like it or not, they can't just up and go. Try going to the US and telling all Italian Americans to learn Italian and take Italian citizenship and go home. You will get laughs or hostile looks. Even for me, not born here, I spent almost half my life here, have a lot of things in my life going on here, It is not so easy to just leave, nor is it what I want. Further more, for someone born here, their identity is really Japan, more than Korea,usually. Just like the I-Americans. They have an identiy defined by being treated as a Korean in Japan, more than the actual Korean identity. This does mean they are a part of Japan.

Third, discrimination is pretty severe here. I think it is severe because it is acceptble to the non-discriminators, i.e., it is hard to have real allies among the jpns. So, someone might say "i don't mind Koreans/ gaijin" and they would be a fine person, but yet never stick up for ppl being bullied and turn a blind eye. This means the few (perhaps many) real discriminators will have undue influence on the overall atmosphere. This is a real problem in Japanese society, the whole "I don't care, it has nothing to do with me" thing.

This means, of course life can be tough, but for kids, sending them to a Korean school can be a real priority to keep them safe and having a normal childhood.

Any school needs a lot of financing to do its various duties. Furthermore, the gov GIVES money to all private schools in some way or another, not just K schools. Suddenly cutting off funding is just a way to cause problems and start fights and hurt little kids. It is racial baiting.

Also, even those who do change their nationality and name, still face discrimination. They may be found out when their prospective employer does a check, or getting married.

It's a big sticky complicated ball of wax.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"

Much of their predicament is based on their own greed." I know! Those school kids are schemers!

Cripes why put words into someone's mouth. Any adult would understand that it isnt the kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're the one accusing the Koreans of cheating the Japanese taxpayers. Do they pay less tax than you ?

Reread my posts, did I ever accuse them of cheating? No I don't think so. Sure if they live and work here they pay taxes but by what rights are their schools afforded special funding?

If they want to send their children to special schools let them pay for it as I and MANY other parents do for ours.

Good for you. Because those kids don't enjoy the right or privilege of not being harassed. -

Neither do my kids, nor any kid for that matter, but times HAVE changed and while YES there is still bullying and problems for multi-racial children that was one of the points of starting those schools in the first place, they should not have "special" rights nor funding in my opinion, let them pay for it on their own.

Not according to the Japanese Supreme court you don't. Fair enough, I should have written "generally speaking" my mistake for not being more detailed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seiryuu_Dan: "@smithinjapan, so what other options are there?"

Plenty, starting with suffrage and recognizing them as human beings instead of backing them into a corner and causing resentment. Instead you have Japanese getting heaps of tax benefits from such people without offering them the means to say where it goes. Giving them Japanese citizenship doesn't do a lot either, since so many people snicker and make snide remarks about how that name 'must be Korean', etc. Or hey, you could see things like JeffLee:

"Much of their predicament is based on their own greed."

I know! Those school kids are schemers!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YubaruMar. 03, 2013 - 10:18AM JST

SO even though I may not have Japanese citizenship, I enjoy the same rights and privileges as a Japanese citizen.

Not according to the Japanese Supreme court you don't.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So don't go and preach to me about "comforts" that taxpayers here give me.

You're the one accusing the Koreans of cheating the Japanese taxpayers. Do they pay less tax than you ?

I enjoy the same rights and privileges as a Japanese citizen

Good for you. Because those kids don't enjoy the right or privilege of not being harassed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You have Japanese nationality ? If not, you are just like them. You want to use the streets and roads in Japan while Japanese taxpayers fund your comfort.

Excuse me? I've been paying road taxes, city taxes, prefectural taxes, income taxes, health insurance taxes, sales taxes, and only lord knows what other "taxes" here in Japan for nearly 30 years.

I KNOW I made the choice, but then I don't ask nor expect the government to fund something that isn't run according to the rules and laws here. I don't expect it any other way.

SO even though I may not have Japanese citizenship, I enjoy the same rights and privileges as a Japanese citizen without the right to vote. And if I want that, all I have to do is apply for it.

So don't go and preach to me about "comforts" that taxpayers here give me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wish I could have my cake and eat it too.

You have Japanese nationality ? If not, you are just like them. You want to use the streets and roads in Japan while Japanese taxpayers fund your comfort.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If only. Chongryon themselves would be the first to fiercely oppose such a unilaterial assimilationist measure.

They don't want assimilation, they don't want to go to either North or South Korea, but they want the Japanese taxpayers to fund their education.

I wish I could have my cake and eat it too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A good part of these pro-North zainichis are Jeju Islander refugees

True. Or they are people that escaped later when the daddy of Mrs Parks was in power, filling the jails with all his rivals, bullying everybody. Anyway even if they have a SK passport, most South Koreans can't stand them. They tell them they must some North-Korean spies. If they move out of Japan, that's to go to the US, Europe, South-East Asia, but not the Koreas.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But the government cannot force citizenship upon them.

It can and it did twice in the last 130 years. It imposed them Japanese citizenship (and change of names). Then after the war, it imposed them Chosen, which means, North-Korean citizenship.

They do recieve that status and are required to renounce whichever nationality since Japan does not have a dual passport system.

FALSE. Japan has had dual nationality for a while, There are thousands and thousands of kids with 2 passports till they reach 20 and recently they have been allowed to keep both later.

After renouncing their Japanese citizenship they go through the same process as any other.

Pre-school kids ? And they will have the police interviewing their kindergarten buddies ? I mean that's the process for adults.

Private school which recieves funds follow the national set guidelines & curriculum,

Chosen-gakko teach 99% of the J-curriculum. They just don't make them sing the kimigayo.

Simply put schools teaching that Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are great leader s don't gain fundings because the guidelines state otherwise.

Yes, the funding depends on teaching that Hiro-Hito was a great leader.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

dreamdrifterMar. 03, 2013 - 01:45AM JST ... A good part of these pro-North zainichis are Jeju Islander refugees (and descendents thereof) who fled a huge massacre by the South Korean security forces which killed one fifth of the island's population. (Look up Jeju massacre). The Koreatowns in Osaka and Mikawajima in Tokyo are predominated by Jeju Islanders. For many of them, it will be a cold day in hell before they have anything to do with South Korea.

What a potential tool Japanese government has. I did not realize. Discrimination must be immediately stopped, on the highest level.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ msmahumane@gmail. com

 Japan should look at the solution by other former colonial powers in Europe and America. They integrated the former subjects and slaves, who chose to remain, as national citizens

As I explained in my previous post just above yours, any such move will be regarded by the North Korean community as an attempt to forcibly assimilate them into Japanese society, which they fear would dilute their membership's loyalty to Pyongyang.

They are free to apply for citizenship voluntarily, and indeed, there are hundreds of thousands of ethnic Koreans who have opted for Japanese citizenship. But the government cannot force citizenship upon them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan should look at the solution by other former colonial powers in Europe and America. They integrated the former subjects and slaves, who chose to remain, as national citizens. In this case the United Nations seems to be looking the other way when it comes to Japan. Where is the UN Commisioner for Human Rights hiding? Would it be acceptable if some poor banana republic was doing the same?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Wakawaka225

Can't they just switch their citizenship to South Korea?

A good part of these pro-North zainichis are Jeju Islander refugees (and descendents thereof) who fled a huge massacre by the South Korean security forces which killed one fifth of the island's population. (Look up Jeju massacre). The Koreatowns in Osaka and Mikawajima in Tokyo are predominated by Jeju Islanders. For many of them, it will be a cold day in hell before they have anything to do with South Korea.

@nillie101

And why can't they simiply be considered Korean Japanese citizens.

Ethnic Koreans who chose to get Japanese citizenship are indeed considered Korean Japanese citizens. But this article is about a particular group of pro-Pyongyang ethnic Koreans who themselves reject the idea that they are Korean-Japanese and oppose any measure to assimilate them. Look up "Chongryon".

@Kabukilover

The problem would be solved by all "foreigners" who are related to former colonial subjects and born in Japan automatic citizenship

If only. Chongryon themselves would be the first to fiercely oppose such a unilaterial assimilationist measure.

@Asianhometown

Japanese government should stop the discrimination and recognize these ethic Koreans as Japanese citizens

Again, Chongryon will see such an action as Japanese citizenship being forced on them without their consent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

North Koreans kids are victims and Japan decides to victimize them further, and be a bully. This discrimination has to stop. Why would the kids have to suffer? Japan would earn more respect if they protected children instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The problem would be solved by all "foreigners" who are related to former colonial subjects and born in Japan automatic citizenship. It is harder to discriminate against kokumin. This would have been done long ago if the powers that be were not so bigoted and mean-spirited.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many private schools get funding

Private schools that follow the curriculum and guidlines for MEXT get funding, others get ZERO. Typically speaking "American" schools or faith based schools get NO funding from the government, local or otherwise.

The Korean schools shouldnt get funding either. And to the folks that say that since "they" pay taxes and whatnot, hey I pay taxes too along with all the parents of the kids where my kids go to school, but you dont see us demanding or expecting the government to fund their education.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NORTH KOREA is wrong using neuclear weaponry as any OTHER COUNTRY would be. Have,nt people learnt yet that it is better to sort problems out rather than use or show force.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The schools many of these children attend are having their funding withdrawn by Japan, leaving students and parents wondering why they are being punished for something they cannot control.

Why should a North Korean school get funding from the Japanese government? You don't see schools like The American School in Japan (ASIJ) being funded by the Japanese government. If North Koreans can't pay the full tuition then the schools should be shut down. The North Koreans can always enroll their kids in Japanese public schools like everyone else or move to North Korea and continue their education there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The better question is why are these the only options?

The thing is, in my opinion, they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be "foreign" (and have zainichi status) which is fine, despite the fact that they, for the most part, don't speak korean or have any ties to korea, except that their greatgreatgreat grandfather came from there.

Then they complain about a lack of funding (which Japanese children get) and the fact that they are being treated as foreigners. When they want to be treated as foreigners, but not with any of the negativity that comes with being a foreigner in Japan. To be honest, most of these people would not be identifiable as non Japanese - they often marry into Japanese families, and speak native level Japanese. Its their own mentality which is setting them apart.

Perhaps I am missing the point, but to be honest, It seems to me that they are intentionally making their life difficult.

If every American who originated from Irish / Scottish roots X-Amount of years ago did the same as this, and despite being born and raised in America, and speaking American, insisted they were "NOT American" and made a point of excluding their children from mainstream American school, indoctrinated their children against America, hailed IRA leaders as gods, and wanted to hold a British/Irish passport instead of an American one, while at the same time continue to use American services, funding and the other nice things that come with citizenship, they would be met with criticism. Quite rightly.

You cant have the best of both, at least not in Japan, and after living here SO long, it seems that is what the koreans want. I wonder what would happen if Japan stopped giving them the "special residence permission" ...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The better question is why are these the only options?

What other options are there smith?

These people are living in Japan of their own choosing. If they like it here so much and find that not being a citizen is a problem in their daily lives then they can apply for the documents. Alternatively they could return to the "fatherland".

We all know the Japanese don't give out passports willy nilly like most weak minded western democracies do. I applaud the Japanese for making it difficult to gain citizenship. They have their country the way they like it and the last thing they need is a bunch of people who don't like the way the country is run gaining access to the political process to appeal for their own particular "needs".

In a first for me, I'm also going to agree with tmarie and say that I would never swap my passport for a Japanese one because it would make no difference in my daily life anyway. I'm happy living under the current conditions in Japan. If I face some discrimination from time to time that's OK with me, its the price of doing business. And at least I always know where I stand in Japan - on the outside.

I recommend that anyone who can't deal with the "hardship" of living in Japan gather their belongings, get on a plane and leave. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, I've heard that America is a really swell place .... they even let their illegal immigrants out of jail. Its only a matter of time until they start handing them $100 and a free passport on their way out the door.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Hide Suzuki, very, very GOOD POINT! If they want to "leave the zainichi Kankojin" out of this political mess, how about trying to BLEND in with the Japanese culture? By sending their kids to REGULAR Japanese schools, instead of the North Korean controlled schools??

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@tmarie

"Leave the kids out of this."

If the kids want to be out of this, then they can just go to a nearby Japanese high school. Then they don't have to pay any tuition to attend high school.

But if they choose to go to a Korean high school that doesn't follow the guidelines set by the ministry of education, then they should expect to pay for all the associated costs by themselves.

That's what people do when they send their kids to go to American schools here in Japan. They don't follow the standard curriculum and no funding from the J government and you don't hear them complaining.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yubaru, a few things. "We" weren't dragged here as slaves during the war. If I was, I totally would expect free education like the locals regardless of the kind of school I attended. The least they could do.

Look at the discrimination "Koreans" face here. Would you be do keen to change nationality if you were subjected to the same? I have zero intention of ever giving up my passport for a Japanese one because I know to "them" it wouldn't matter. I will never, ever be accepted as Japanese, and more than okay with that. Why should these folks have to decide?The Japanese aren't opened minded with citizenship like we are. I don't blame them for not changing because it wouldn't make a difference anyway. They'd still face discrimination and crap from the "Yamato" blood. Do we know that do e of these students haven't already claimed Japanese citizenship anyway?

The government is behaving disgustingly. Leave the kids out of this.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The harassment of kids? Cut it out, it isn't right.

The decision to using Japanese taxpayers money to fund schools that spout anti-Japanese propaganda? Long overdue.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I support Japanese government decision to not support the North Korean sponsored schools in Japan however the Japanese government must give these 2nd or 3rd generation ethic Koreans Japanese citizenship. These ethic Koreans are more Japanese than Korean. Their grandparents may came to Japan either by force or voluntary however these children who are born in Japan and are 2nd generation Korean/Japanese should be given equal rights as Japanese. Even in China, ethic grandchildren of ethic Koreans who fled Japanese control Korea and settled in China are given Chinese citizenship. Japanese government should stop the discrimination and recognize these ethic Koreans as Japanese citizens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cos

Schools have no citizenship. The kids should be given Japanese citizenship automatically. At the minimum they should be binationals till they are 20 when they can choose... in a normal world, that would be.

They do recieve that status and are required to renounce whichever nationality since Japan does not have a dual passport system. After renouncing their Japanese citizenship they go through the same process as any other. Private school which recieves funds follow the national set guidelines & curriculum, the schools that doe not do not recieve any funds are because they are not following those guidelines.

Simply put schools teaching that Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are great leader s don't gain fundings because the guidelines state otherwise.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is ridiculous reporting – the headline and lead sentence are incredibly misleading.

Both Japan and the US sent aircraft equipped with “sniffer” technology over NK airspace directly after the explosion and both did not detect any radiation.

None.

It was not a nuclear test, folks, and neither was the last one NK conducted for the same reason.

This article should have a correction inserted to reflect the above - as it is, this article could cause a great deal of unnecessary harm.

"After the test, the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center in Florida dispatched WC-135 "sniffer" airplanes to look for traces of gas residue that could offer clues to the device's design, but those efforts apparently turned up empty, the officials said."

www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130220/spy-agencies-scrounge-details-north-korean-nuclear-test

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I find it lame to harass the kids. Anyway. Even if the parents were North-Korean military working at the experiment, and they are surely not. I mean the same idiots could go harass kids in international schools in Okinawa to protest the bases. There would be anyone to question the families ? So why here ?

Can't they just switch their citizenship to South Korea?

Schools have no citizenship. The kids should be given Japanese citizenship automatically. At the minimum they should be binationals till they are 20 when they can choose... in a normal world, that would be.

What's the point of not taking Japanese citizenship if they are going to live in Japan?

You can ask the same question to most posters of this board. You think we can just go to the kombini and get a J-nationality ? Then how does one know he/she is going to live in Japan or getting kicked out of Japan if ever relations with ancestral nation got sour ?

Likewise getting Japanese citizenship is as simple as filling out a couple of forms - again, as tens of thousands have done.

You have not talked to one of these 10 tens of thousands. Many told me that was not simple at all. Up to the 80's, rejection rate was massive, not it's just a little better. That takes them months for each application, then background investigation with the police interviewing neighbors, just like us if we applied. They can be rejected on the smallest detail like late tax payment or a speed ticket. So I wouldn't assume holders of a Korean passport have not tried getting a Japanese one.

why the complaints about funding or lack of support?

Why would they not get funding from the tax money they pay ? Many private schools get funding. That would be fair that all private schools receive some amount per kid. That makes less spending to public school if kids go there. It's fair that families pay for the extracurriculum (ethnic subjects, religion, activities...) and tax money pay for the teaching of chore subjects. That's the system in my old country and there it's just in the name of tax fairness. But in Japan, I'd say they owe it because the schools when opened in a context when Japanese public schools refused foreign kids, and continues in a context when they will accept them without dealing with bullying issues.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Yubaru

"Then why were they receiving funding from the Japanese government? "

A good question. J government is just like any other government, different politicians with different opinions. There are some Japanese people who think or thought that they deserve the same funding even at the Korean schools.

But due to their recent hostile activities, now the majority think we shouldn't waste tax payers' money on schools that don't follow the standard curriculum and promotes NK agenda.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Please define "ethnic" Korean children. And why can't they simiply be considered Korean Japanese citizens. In America you can be Italian American, African American, etc. Come on people get with it. It's the 21st century! This 'racism' needs to end globally!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Economic sanctions fail to achieve desired results so Japan is seeking revenge on North Korean small school children? Humanity at its worst :(

0 ( +3 / -3 )

gokai_wo_manekuMar. 02, 2013 - 09:24AM JST

Factually wrong. McArthur rescinded their Japanese citizenship during Occupation.

Factually wrong, they never had Japanese nationality to be rescinded in the first place. They were subjects of the Japanese emperor before 1945, not citizens of Japan. Please refer to Yoneyuki Sugita's 'Democracy In Occupied Japan' and read his section 'Alien residents... the status of Koreans in Occupied Japan'.

And for those who ask, why didn't they go home after the war? Well if they had chosen to be repatriated to Korea during the 1945-52 period, they were only allowed to take goods and money to the value of Y1,000 with them, hardly a great choice.

As SmithinJapan states the whole status of these Japanese Koreans is a shambles and that is largely due to the semantics of the term 'Kokumin', which has taken on a different meaning from that intended by the original writers of the Japanese constitution. Now it has overtunes of apartheid, reinforced by the ruling of the Japanese supreme court which recently stated that only those holding kokumin status have full rights to the resources and protection of the Japanese state (Japanese Govt v Phillipinne children with Japanese fathers).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thankfully the incidents of North Korean children being beaten up on their way to the NK school I know has dropped over the years ( maybe partly due to the fact that they stopped wearing traditional dress ). Hopefully, it's mostly due to a more tolerant society but unfortunately bullying is still sad fact of life in mainstream education, and I would think twice before sending a child of NK origin to a Japanese school. Of course I don't agree with pictures of the odious Kims or ridiculous ideology classes, but maybe the parents of these kids see the alternative as worse.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zainichi Koreans can renounce their Korean citizenship and easily gain Japanese citizenship like Lee Datadanari. The reason why they do not is of their individual choice.

Ok thank you for sharing this information. If it's their choice then why the complaints about funding or lack of support?

Of course the situations are not the same but there are plenty of us foreigners who live in Japan that follow the same laws and conditions and have the same opportunities for the most part and live and deal with it. I dont follow the reasoning.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zainichi Koreans can renounce their Korean citizenship and easily gain Japanese citizenship like Lee Datadanari. The reason why they do not is of their individual choice.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They also don't follow curriculum set up Ministry of Education.

Then why were they receiving funding from the Japanese government? My kids went to an "American" school and received zero funding from the Japanese government and nobody complained, we understood going into it.

Why do they feel they have a right to the funding?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Both countries will confer citizenship to people who decide to repatriate, as tens of thousands have done since 1956, and neither the North or the South require that the person be originally from the area they're going to settle in (North/South). Likewise getting Japanese citizenship is as simple as filling out a couple of forms - again, as tens of thousands have done. -

First off thank you. Next a couple of questions, I am assuming that the "tens of thousands" that repatriated were 1st generation Koreans who were here in Japan after WWII. They I understand going back.

However, for 3rd generation and beyond what is it they want? They can enjoy the benefits of being a Japanese citizen, and yet choose not to take it, yet want the same benefits due to them being born and raised here. Japan does not officially recognize dual citizenship so is that what they are after?

What's the point of not taking Japanese citizenship if they are going to live in Japan?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Much of their predicament is based on their own greed.

Yeah, those five year olds, or 10 year olds are greedy little things aren't they....

The children suffer.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They really want more free government money. Not getting more free money is being "punished."

Much of their predicament is based on their own greed. They sided with Pyongyang because it gave them free money, as they "gravitated towards institutions generously funded by Kim Il-Sung’s North, who lavished money on the community ..." as the article states.

They were happy to pocket the benefits while ignoring all the credible reports of people starving and being tortured to death there. They made their choice, and now they're paying the consequences.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Can't they just renounce Korean citizenship and become Japanese citizens? It's not renouncing your genes or ethnicity, just some bureaucratic piece of paper (though perhaps Mayakovsky would disagree; http://www.passportmagazine.ru/article/1205/)

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@smithinjapan, so what other options are there? 1) stay with Chongryon, an increasingly hostile nation, and get treated as such, 2) return to the fatherland and bask in the glory of Kimmy boy, while you starved to death and freedom, 3) get South Korean citizenship a) either move to SK or b) stay in Japan and cut all ties to Chongryon, or 4) renounce ties to Chongryon and North Korea altogether and get Japanese Citizenship.

North Korea currently is increasing hostility with it's neighbor and the idiot of a ruler is getting more aggressive, sprouting stupid and insulting comments while (eating all the food of the nation).

I wonder if North Korea gets into a war, either with South Korea, USA or Japan or either or all of the above, what will happen to those in Japan?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

PS I've heard that discrimination was much worse than it is now back in the 70s and 80s, when it peaked. But all discrimination should be stopped. It is a total embarrassment to Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"having forfeited their Japanese nationality with Japan’s 1945 defeat - "

Factually wrong. McArthur rescinded their Japanese citizenship during Occupation. They weren't given a choice. Japan adopted the Roman idea of making everyone in its empire a citizen. Maybe he thought he was relieving them of a burden, but then the US didn't provide the money to return them to Korea. Anyway, most of the younger generation are taking Japanese citizenship, so the "Japan-resident Koreans" (在日韓国人) will be gone soon. Same for the Chinese.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

kimuzukashii: "Why cant they just go back to Korea?? Or, if they have been born and raised in Japan, take Japanese citizenship?"

The better question is why are these the only options?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@Yubaru

"They no longer have citizenship in either country."

Wrong dude. Some of the zainichi people participated in the Olympics or the world cup representing either South or North Korea. They do have a citizenship.

At those North korean schools, they still only use Korean, spoken or text books, teach that communism is the way, capitalism will end eventually etc. They also don't follow curriculum set up Ministry of Education.

It's not illegal to do that, just like American schools in Japan do. They can set their own teaching method but they shouldn't expect J government to pay for their education, again American schools in Japan don't get any funding and they are not complaining.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"sometimes brutal 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula" LOL because attempted national, cultural genocide enforced through a police, totalitarian state is only "sometimes brutal." What a joke.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Yubaru: The country that they originally came from no longer exists when the North and South split. They no longer have citizenship in either country.

Both countries will confer citizenship to people who decide to repatriate, as tens of thousands have done since 1956, and neither the North or the South require that the person be originally from the area they're going to settle in (North/South). Likewise getting Japanese citizenship is as simple as filling out a couple of forms - again, as tens of thousands have done.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Can't they just switch their citizenship to South Korea?

Why cant they just go back to Korea??

The country that they originally came from no longer exists when the North and South split. They no longer have citizenship in either country.

Or, if they have been born and raised in Japan, take Japanese citizenship? -

I guess you don't get it. They have the choice but shouldnt be forced, it should be freely given. The one's who did not take Japanese citizenship carry foreign resident cards and their children now 3rd, and 4th, and maybe 5th generation also have to carry them as well.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

North Koreans are victims of Pyongyang.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Chang Mal-Ryo, a teacher at the Yokohama Korean school, said the schools were built by the generations who came from the Korean peninsula before it was divided along the 38th parallel and should be free from the effects of geopolitics.

If you want the schools to be free of geopolitics, start by removing the portraits of Kim Jong-Ill, and stop teaching Juche.

As far as being "stateless", that's of their own choosing. The door is open - and has been for decades, both to North Korea and to South Korea. Or they can take Japanese citizenship, which is as simple as filling out a couple of forms.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Why cant they just go back to Korea?? Or, if they have been born and raised in Japan, take Japanese citizenship?

-1 ( +11 / -11 )

discrimination as usual

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Can't they just switch their citizenship to South Korea?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

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