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In Tokyo court, 5 ask N Korea to pay for false 'paradise on Earth' promise

33 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Maybe just file the promise of paradise under "lesson learned" and leave the legal ramifications out of it.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

You sometimes don't realize how fortunate you are until you move elsewhere.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Paradise on Earth is Hawaii, not North Korea. If you believed North Korea is or was Heaven, something is wrong with you.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

About 93,000 ethnic Korean residents of Japan and their family members went to North Korea.

Well, sorry chaps, but you made your bed now you had better lie in it.

Today, about half a million ethnic Koreans live in Japan and still face discrimination in school, work and daily lives.

Including many "Koreans" who do not speak the language, whose parents do not speak the language, and who have never been to the country. The sands of time have passed and they should accept that they are now, for all practical purposes, Japanese (of Korean extraction). Take a Japanese passport and 99.9% of your grief will disappear.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Suggest some of you read about post war Korean History - the involvement of the Red Cross the the Government here before making flippant comments. Of course they have no chance of actually receiving any compensation - but I'm sure these people will be happy knowing they made a statement. if you don't have any interest in the actual history then I suggest reading 'The Aquariums of Pyongyang'.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

North Korea had promised free health care, education, jobs and other benefits, but none was available

All of these things found in abundance in Japan. Unbelievable that these individuals wished to move. Why?

The court really should be dismissing this lawsuit as frivolous and wasting taxpayer money.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

And I want to sue that Nigerian prince, he promised me a few million dollars if I give him my bank account details.

Seriously now, one thing that I found interesting about these trials in Japan are the big banners they parade around the street. And they prepare more banners in the case of a victory, "not guilty", "victory" or so. Is this a common practice in any other country?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The court should reject the suit because individuals cannot claim compensation from another country through a domestic court.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The Japanese government, viewing Koreans as outsiders, also welcomed the resettlement program and helped arrange for participants to travel to North Korea. 

Actually the Japanese government is the co-defendant in this case, because the Japanese government conspired with Chosen Soren to start up and promote this repatriation campaign, while fully knowing the realities on the ground of North Korea.

But Japanese government's hatred of resident Koreans turned their eyes blind and looked the other way, as long as the repatriation got rid of Korean residents from Japan.

And not once did Japan demand the return of 1,800 Japanese, I repeat Japanese, wives sent away to North Korea with their Korean husbands during this cycle.

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

Michael MachidaToday 08:05 am JST

Paradise on Earth is Hawaii, not North Korea. If you believed North Korea is or was Heaven, something is wrong with you.

She went there in 1960 ...

8 ( +10 / -2 )

If they were kidnapped and abducted against their will, I feel sympathy; if they willingly went thinking N Korea is a paradise on earth, I absolutely feel no sympathy at all.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Michael MachidaToday  08:05 am JST

Paradise on Earth is Hawaii, not North Korea. If you believed North Korea is or was Heaven, something is wrong with you.

So you think that everything we know about North Korea TODAY was known 60 years ago? How strange.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Not all Koreans living in Japan have been forcibly brought to Japan.

For example, the grandfather of the founder of Softbank and the founder of Lotte were stowaways who came to Japan.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Five people who say they were promised "paradise on Earth" in North Korea but suffered human rights violations instead told a Japanese court Thursday that they were deceived and kidnapped to that country and that they now want its leader Kim Jong Un to compensate them.

If they are building on the fact that they believed what someone told them and they did not verify it in any way, then it should rather be about deprivation of legal capacity and assignment of a legal guardian. They have only shown their naivety with this whole move. That's all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Henry_Gatto

Heck, still a lot we don't know today that isn't filtered through biased sources one way or the other.

This is a really weird case that I don't see the merits of. Japan, or any country, isn't going to make another country pay restitution, North Korea or otherwise.

I suppose they just want to leverage the court case to get attention to their situations, but that seems like a weird and expensive way to do it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

She went there in 1960 ...

...and the Korean war was still fresh in people's minds - a war, I might add, started by the North. Yet these Koreans in Japan, instead of thinking "Thank God I am not over there!" thought "I want me some of that!".

4 ( +8 / -4 )

AddfwynToday  10:23 am JST

@Henry_Gatto

Heck, still a lot we don't know today that isn't filtered through biased sources one way or the other.

Very true but we know a damn sight more than we did 60 years ago.

This is a really weird case that I don't see the merits of. Japan, or any country, isn't going to make another country pay restitution, North Korea or otherwise.

Agreed, complete waste of the court's time.

I suppose they just want to leverage the court case to get attention to their situations, but that seems like a weird and expensive way to do it.

If that's all they set out to achieve then they succeeded in a small way.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A symbolic trial maybe, but a silly (and useless) one certainly.

North Korea had promised free health care, education, jobs and other benefits, but none was available and the returnees were mostly assigned manual work at mines, forests or farms, one of the plaintiffs, Eiko Kawasaki, 79, a Korean who was born and raised in Japan, said last month.

Essentially, suing NK over false advertisement, I guess?

But Fukuda hopes the case can set a precedent for the Japanese government to negotiate with North Korea in the future on seeking the North's responsibility and normalizing diplomatic ties.

The Japanese government, viewing Koreans as outsiders, also welcomed the resettlement program and helped arrange for participants to travel to North Korea. About 93,000 ethnic Korean residents of Japan and their family members went to North Korea.

Today, about half a million ethnic Koreans live in Japan and still face discrimination in school, work and daily lives.

Dream on. The J-government does not even care about the abductee more than using them as a cheap and quick vote-grab. Why would they care more about former Koreans they (Japan) abducted themselves and were happy to see leaving back 60 years ago and most likely less happy to see come back a few decades later.

BTW, there had been a war between the 2 Koreas and the whole world was in the middle of the Cold War. It looks like those who chose (late) side with NK didn't bother to read the fine print which was actually in pretty bold fonts, me think.

I will probably sound like a cold heartless SOB, but frankly the naivety of all the victims (both Japanese and Koreans) of NK (but also Japan to an extend) is just staggering...and to be frank, tiring as well.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Like many here I am speechless as to how any sane and rational person could think life would be better in Communist North Korea than Japan.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@Fighto: Hence I said do a little reading. If you were a Korean left in here in the 1950's unable to get a proper job, or rent a decent apartment and shunned by Japanese society in general at the time, with the information provided it didn't look like a bad deal. Plus they practically begging people to go back. I know you are pressy smart person from your posts, if you are interested give the book I mentioned a look.

South Korea didn't WANT people back as it was an economic catastrophe and a pretty brutal dictatorship to boot at the time. That took a few more years to reverse.

Wrong choice, yes but without the information flows that we take for granted now it was a very different situation.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Kim Jong Un to compensate them? Please.....

Sorry for those who had suffered hardships....But common sense people. Common sense.

If it smells like a duck, quacks like a duck. (((Paradise on Earth))) Good one DPRK.

Its just Win on paper. Will never see one KPW Bank note ever.

The concept in the DPRK is: One must destroy in order to create.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

These people have lost the plot what were they thinking or not..

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Didn’t the Japanese government know what it was doing sending people back to a repressive regime?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe, just maybe, we're not hearing the full story about these people? Perhaps they were committed to communism (you know, the Utopian, never-gonna-happen-in-real-life version a-la Marx and Engles' heavenly apparitions of "paradise")?

Perhaps these people wanted to believe in what was promised them so much- too much, so that they were willing to set aside all doubt and throw themselves into the new religion of building up a short "dictatorship of the proles" before the impending, "inevitable" heaven of a "state which will naturally wither away, unneeded"? Meanwhile, the cognitive dissonance that came with the realization that, not only was communism not better than the "evil, exploitative" capitalist societies they were so hasty to abandon, but was even more evil, more exploitative and more miserable than any economic/political system that had come before it!?

Besides, you can easily find scores of committed Leftists as well as a good many Duped Dreamers in the "free world", too, who were willing propagandists for the "paradise" that men like Stalin, Mao, the Kims or even Pol Pot were "building". Walter Duranty famously won Pulitzers for his NY Times socialist propaganda, excitedly exclaiming about the Soviets' murderous Collectivization campaigns, "I've seen the future, and it WORKS!" or rejecting any talk of the man-made famine then massacring millions of Ukrainians and Russians alike as "nothing more than a Big Scare Story". Or take the words of the former German communist leader, Karl Liebknecht, “the main enemy is at home.”

Edgar Snow became famous for his glowing revisionist hagiography of Mao's China, Red Star Over China (even as thousands of communist cadres as well as ordinary Chinese were even then being purged or put to death.) And lets not forget the glowing pro-Soviet comments of such luminaries as HG Wells or Jean-Paul ("Socialism is NOT brought at the point of a bayonet?") Satre...

Given that so many propagandists outside of communist countries were so willing to bend, distort or simply fabricate the truth in order to glamourize what at heart was, and always must need be, a tyranny-based system of control and coercion, perhaps it's unsurprising that these gullible Japanese fellow-travelers were duped enough to actually drink the Kool-Aid, and fall for the propaganda, emanating from both within and without?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

sometimes the grass looks greener in the other field, but when you get there is a barron wilderness.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does this court in Tokyo have jurisdiction over North Korea?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, good luck with that one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The ironic thing is there are so many young socialists today who will continue to support this cycle of failure and human tragedy.

100 million dead at the hands of socialism in the 20th Century, and they keep coming back for more.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

North Korea is not communist or socialist more like a state fascist. The Soviet Union and China are the same.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

…were mostly assigned manual work at mines, forests or farms

oh my god, how bad and really uniquely unusual, some people working manually at mines, forests or farms, while everywhere else such brutal work is already abolished or done by robots. lol (irony)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

kurisupisuToday  02:23 pm JST

Didn’t the Japanese government know what it was doing sending people back to a repressive regime?

How could Japan know what even Chongryon had no idea about. And, South was also as repressive as North.

BeardoToday  04:42 pm JST

Does this court in Tokyo have jurisdiction over North Korea?

Plaintiff's logic is the fact Japan has not been recognizing North Korea as a sovereign state

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

Didn’t the Japanese government know what it was doing sending people back to a repressive regime?

And Japanese government's blind hatred of Koreans made them look the other way, even though there were 1,800 Japanese wives on board the repatriation ships.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

A lot of people here seem to be forgetting that life in Japan back in the fifties was not exactly a picnic. Ditto for most of europe too. I can well imagine that someone of Korean descent might think their life may be better if they went back to their home country. Especially as it is well known that Koreans do not get preferential treatment in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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