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Japan turns up pressure on pro-Pyongyang schools

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By ERIC TALMADGE

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“This is the only place where we can be ourselves,” the 18-year-old said.

No, there is one other place you can do that.

14 ( +27 / -13 )

Makes no sense to me. If they don't like Japan or Japanese culture and so desperately want to live the life of a N. Korean, then go to N. Korea. They need workers, I'm sure they would be welcomed with open arms.

Oh wait, then these zainichi would no longer have any freedom to do and say as they please. Hypocrites. They whole stinkin' lot of em.

13 ( +28 / -15 )

Indeed, what a nonsense.

I pity them for being discriminated but Japan is just being reasonable. They can't support something that will become a threat to them in the future. If they(these koreans) don't like Japan(and the culture), then they shouldn't be in there in the first place, if they do not want to respect Japan's demand then they should not demand any either - they are asking for more discrimination. Perhaps the Japanese government should just deport them back to N.Korea then they will understand. Besides, they should feel lucky that they are still living in there(in Japan).

Japan has only one demand - be more like a japanese. (makes sense) These students has a lot of demands yet they are not even Japanese.

I know I am not in any position to judge these youths/schools, but they're not making any sense at all. Shouldn't Japan just deport all these N.Koreans to S.Korea, perhaps it might help, after all if they send these kids back in N.Korea I doubt they will live and be themselves still.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Just some thoughts:

I wouldn't be suprised if some of these schools were connected to the abductions

I'm suprised Japan even lets North Korea move any money into the country

possible sleeper cells?

I also discovered another strange piece of information about North Korean education, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology construction was partly funded by American Evangelical Christian groups

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The article seems quite biased to me. It makes it sound as if the North Korea regime schools are the only option for Koreans in Japan, who want to give their children a Korean education? Surely there are South Korea oriented schools here?

The idea that I with my Japanese tax money should support the Kim Yong Un`s genocidal regime is offensive to me. Afaic, Japan has under no obligation to fund North Korean political indoctrination.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

As the article stated, enrollment is declining anyway. It is the natural result of persuasion. Resorting to force will just leave an ugly mark. By the way, about the taxes, these people and their families are themselves paying taxes.

No reason why Japanese can't be proud, patriotic, and have military capable of defending the country; and STILL allow people who have non-standard viewpoints to live in peace and freedom.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Surely there are South Korea oriented schools here?

There are.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As the article stated, enrollment is declining anyway. It is the natural result of persuasion.

More like blackmail. Let's be real, no one on this site, has any clue what it feels like to be zainichi. I sure as heck don't.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

" no reason why Japanese can't be proud, patriotic, and have military capable of defending the country; and STILL allow people who have non-standard viewpoints to live in peace and freedom. "

So you would be OK with the Japanese government funding a German neo-nazi school, or a Cambodean Pol Pot oriented school, putting those leaders at the head of the classroom and teaching those ideologies?

The North Korean Kim dynasty and their criminal ideology are not different.

12 ( +19 / -8 )

If you hate where you are at you can always go back to North Korea, I am sure they will take you back with open arms and all the bowls of grass mutton you can eat.

Enjoy.........

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Japan views North Korea as a belligerent and dangerous neighbor and officials say the schools are a legitimate target of concern.

That's exactly what they are. They use propaganda which basically brainwashes people into submission, in the same way that religious cults do.

Through the SK media I often come across news stories and interviews of defectors from NK. They say a lot of North Koreans now know that NK government's propaganda is BS, and contraband South Korean drama DVDs have played a part.

It is becoming harder and harder for NK to keep up the appearances and prevent with the intrusion of free media from the outside world, and hopefully the regime will fall when the discontent reaches a critical mass.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Three of my childhood friends were 在日韓国人("Japan resident Koreans"? - I'm not sure of the English), although one did not "come out" until high school. They all naturalized because they had no feeling of being Korean at all. They felt completely Japanese, and to me they are completely Japanese. They say that most of the third generation is like that. It is not Japanese that are the trouble, it's their parents who want them to "be Korean".

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Nothing inspires hatred like.... hatred. The victims of subsidy cuts would be kids, born and raised in Japan, bottom line. Giving them the ultimatum -- be more Japanese or leave -- is indicative of the problems plaguing this nation when it comes to acceptance. The only threats of violence or hatred here are coming from the idea of cutting off these kids based on their upbringing; the kids are threatening no one.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

Some writers suggest that Koreans in Japan should send their children to Korean schools affiliated with the South. However, as the article says, there are only four such schools and that is not for at each level but four in total. That means that for many Koreans the suggestion is quite impractical.

Given the choice between having their children indoctrinated in North Korean schools may well seem preferableto having them indoctrinated in Japanese schools where they would taught the official LDP version of the history of Japan's colonisation of other countries and the whitewashed version of World War II.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Exactly. Where is the real threat?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Has anyone ever heard of Mun Segwang?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Quite frankly, gaijintraveler, I truly doubt that those Korean children will be badly deprived. For one thing, I'm sure their parents if they are so motivated will send them to the Internet.

Further, would it be such a bad thing if the kids NEVER learn about the stuff? Can you tell me what do they lose? It is not science or math or literature. Frankly, seeing the results of "Truth Education" in China and Korea makes me very inclined to think peace in Asia would be best served by the three countries signing a treaty to say not a single word about the whole 1900-1945 era in their compulsory education.

Frankly, even a South Korean school will still teach ideologies not precisely compatible with Japan. And while the guys saying the North Koreans are paying taxes are right, by proportion they are paying only 1% or so with the Japanese taxpayer paying 99%. Most of those 99% presumably at best only tolerate funding to such schools. Really, why subsidize them?

And I have a really hard time calling them victims, since they are still eligible for standard education. They are only being deprived the "right" to have a Korean-language education (which is useless in preparing them to work in Japan) hat teaches anti-Japanese values. That's a special privilege.

As a whole, I don't sympathize very much with Zainichi Koreans. OK, sure if they get spat on in the street just for being Koreans or something, they get my sympathy. But just making them go through naturalization or not giving them special subsidies for special schools just can't tickle my heart, and when they insist on these special rights, my sympathy for them dies.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

You can't have your cake and eat it! Return to N Korea if Japan is intolerable and you can't be yourself! A week there and you will be back in Japan with a far more positive perspective on your hosts. Some people just don't know when they have it good. I bet there are N Koreans there that would trade places with you in an instant and throw in a body part or two into the deal! Wake up!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Smithjapan

" Nothing inspires hatred like.... hatred. The victims of subsidy cuts would be kids, born and raised in Japan, bottom line. Giving them the ultimatum -- be more Japanese or leave -- "

That is not the ultimatum. Where did you get that from? If there is an ultimatum, it would be: "Fund your own totalitarian indoctrination school. And if you can´t do that, send your kids to a Japanese or South Korean school."

Seems completely sensible to me. In fact, I find the idea that Japan`s government should fund indoctrination centers for that fat, criminal god-ruler in Pyong Yang offensive. You don´t ?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The surefire way to strengthen someone's identity is to oppress it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Abe's trying to extinguish the dying embers of pro-North schools. With kerosene.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Makes no sense to me. If they don't like Japan or Japanese culture and so desperately want to live the life of a N. Korean, then go to N. Korea.

Please find the part in the article that says these kids hate Japan. Also for students going to Japanese schools in other countries like China, which country's education system are they supposed to study by?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Ok....

If they prefer to be Korean, go to Korea.

Is that better?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I think describing North Korea as a "a belligerent and dangerous neighbor" is a fair appraisal of the relationship it has with Japan... and as such I have no problem with the government's refusal to fund these schools.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Three of my childhood friends were 在日韓国人("Japan resident Koreans"? - I'm not sure of the English), although one did not "come out" until high school.

@gokai_wo_maneku - I've heard of this phenomenon of Zainichi Koreans 'coming out' in Japan.. I can understand someone of NK background doing that, but do people of SK have much to fear? I'm guessing it might have to do with subtle discrimination, like being overlooked for a promotion etc?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm surprised to see so much discrimination from so many people who are also 'gaijin' in Japan! When I was teaching in Japanese schools, there seemed to be a huge emphasis creeping in on 'human rights' although quite what all these meetings and classes were teaching was unclear. Don't human rights apply to N.Koreans too?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I don't get how a Korean school in Japan can be pro-Pyongyang. Do the staff and students just ignore all the information available to them in Japan?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I completely understand the Japanese government's decision to cut funding. Not many countries would even allow them to exist I should think. Japan certainly owed a debt after WWII, as far as the schooling goes, its been paid.

The money saved by cutting funding should be used to set up an agency that will offer to pay a fair price for all the property of zainichi Koreans who wish to live in one of the Koreas,, contingent on the plan that they actually go.

If they want to stay here, then they can pay the money to maintain the school as a private one or just send their kids to a Japanese school and teach about Korea after school.

All that said, I am not sure how Japan deals with home schooling, but its not allowed, it should be. That would be another option.

Hwang, who commutes four hours a day, six days a week, to attend this aging school

Its like a 2 hour once in lifetime one way trip to a Korea full of newer schools that I am sure they all can be happy with.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan might as well for it. North Korea is not going to spill about what happened to the Japanese soldiers and they are not going to stop the development of nuclear weapons. Japan should just except their situation and treat these Korean kids with respect. I mean they had nothing to do with the conflict between North Korea and Japan back then. I just think these kids deserve what the rest of Japan get. And thats freedom to be themselves.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

@Mitch I should have mentioned that my three friends are all South Korean Zainichi Kankokujin. My friend who "came out" to me in high school swore me to absolute secrecy. His older brother was already job hunting and if anyone found out he was zainichi Korean, he would never get a job. So at least the generation growing up in the 80s, when we were in elementary and junior high school and others were in high school, felt the pressure and were concerned about descrimination. But as I said, they were/are totally Japanese and have no feelings toward Korea. When I look back on it now, when I was a kid it never occurred to me to think of them as being somehow different. And it doesn't now. Maybe like Americans who say my ancestors came over to the US from France or Germany. You're Americans, right? So are my friends Japanese. They should also mention that one reason for declining enrollment is because so many Zainichi Koreans are "turning Japanese". I wonder about the experience of the Chinese.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The anti-Korean agenda on these forums is sad frankly. We need a lot less discrimination and bigotry in this nation, not more.

Leave the politics out of children's education.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Kazuaki: "peace in Asia would be best served by the three countries signing a treaty to say not a single word about the whole 1900-1945 era in their compulsory education."

Of course you think that -- because Japan was 100% in the wrong. And now it's going down the same road yet again. Maybe they can mention to the IOC that Japan is looking to "Discover Tomorrow" by serving intolerance.

WilliB: ""Fund your own totalitarian indoctrination school. And if you can´t do that, send your kids to a Japanese or South Korean school."

Like I said... intolerance, but aren't you in the "with us or against us" school, Willi?

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

I've heard stories of how Japanese-born Koreans were discriminated against in the 1980s by big Japanese companies - even those graduating from top universities like Kyoto University. I would hope it doesn't happen today but I wouldn't hold my breath. I think it's a pretty disgusting, as are those people who threaten or attack the children who attend these pro-Pyongyang schools.

But North Korea's attitude to Japan is way different from South Korea's, and parents choosing to have their kids attend a school that pledges allegience to Pyongyang, which would happily see Japan destroyed, is perplexing. In Britain, some fundamentalist religious institutions have been (are) teaching its attendees that Britain's way of life is disgusting and therefore they should have nothing to do with the British population or way of life. Why would they even want to stay? I don't understand why those who swear allegience to Pyongyang would choose to stay in a country that allows them to be so free and with such ready access to nutritious food and clean water.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

smithjapan:

" Like I said... intolerance, but aren't you in the "with us or against us" school, Willi? "

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil." (Thomas Mann)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Interesting article.

Using CHILDREN as a political football for misgivings between Japan and NK seems unethical.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

A move that has no chances to improve anything with North-Korea and will affect negatively Japanese society.

the schools would not qualify for the subsidies until North Korea agrees to stop ... nuclear weapons ... on what happened to dozens of Japanese abducted

For the government, it's about blackmailing the schools to get what your diplomats fail to obtain ? The level of J-politics these days fell there at blackmailing kids. Hey Abe, while you're at it. why not directly abducting all the students of these school and propose an exchange to Pyongyang ?

They also receive funds from Pyongyang, but that income stream has largely dried up

Ask them to stop it, and fund the schools as Japanese international schools. That's what the schools have asked for decades.

They are only being deprived the "right" to have a Korean-language education (which is useless in preparing them to work in Japan)

That would be valid for the gaijin schools where children learn only English and end up with a crappy level of Japanese. But all chosen-gakko kids are getting a fully bilingual education. Their Japanese is at the same level as that of students in Japanese schools. I don't see in what they are less prepared to work in Japan.

that teaches anti-Japanese values.

They do ? That's really be big fantasy of the haters. Surely they have like 2 hours a week of NK gospel history, but that's not anti-anyone to get told Jesus did miracles and Kim Jong Un is our Jesus... The kids tell me they know what it is, and they take it as some folkloric literature. As you can see, they don't get any kid that have the vocation and moves to NK to do their military service when they grow up. And if 2 hours of religion class was a problem, there would be many other schools in Japan to close before.

closely affiliated with North Korea.

They have affinities with North Korean people surely. But there have been very few cases of anyone working in any of these schools supporting the Kim regime. Most would just love to see a political change in NK, but as long as that doesn't happen, they deal with the current administration.

I've heard of this phenomenon of Zainichi Koreans 'coming out' in Japan.. I can understand someone of NK background doing that,

There are no North-Koreans among the Zainichi Koreans, there exist no North-Korean families that came to live in Japan. You don't know that North-Korea doesn't let its people move out ? Maybe a few individuals are refugees, and then they have the same visas as us, standard foreigners. To be a special resident, the family had to arrive before North Korea started. As the article says, these residents now chose to get a passport from any of the two Koreas when they need a travel document (and the cause of this is Japan does not issue them Japanese passports). And those that have chosen the NK passport are mostly people whose grand-parents lived in what is now South Korea.

but do people of SK have much to fear?

For the Japanese individuals that may discriminate them, there is no difference whether they have south or north passport or even Japanese nationality. Some people dislike any ethnic Koreans.

I'm guessing it might have to do with subtle discrimination, like being overlooked for a promotion etc?

Promotion ? Most company don't want to hire anyone that has not Japanese nationality, they don't even want to meet the person. Expats are a different thing.

And while the guys saying the North Koreans are paying taxes are right, by proportion they are paying only 1% or so with the Japanese taxpayer paying 99%.

No longer. These days, the North Koreans are many among the 20% of citizens that pay 80% of the mass of taxes.

Really, why subsidize them?

The rich Zainichi could fund the schools. Look, they already fund their banks, their companies, their restaurants, their orchestras, their real estate agencies, etc. Actually, they could buy about 1/3 of Osaka, build gates around and make it an all North-Korean city keeping their taxes for themselves to be nearly self-sufficient , Singapore style. But they want to be part of Japanese society like the Jews want to be part of societies in Europe. America, etc. I think it's a really big mistake to reject them.

-5 ( +6 / -9 )

The pro-North schools had their heyday in the 1970s. South Korea, still mired in a spiral of dictatorships and coups d'état was sending troops to Vietnam, student riots were a recent memory across the northern hemisphere, and (for many) it was hip to be red.

Fast forward to 2013. The Great Leader's latest descendent is little more than a caged cicada, political apathy rules the day, and the schools are slowly fading into irrelevance.

Why create a martyr where none would otherwise exist?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It has nothing to due with discrimination and to be frank in the past the government was just sympathetic towards these schools.

By law a school requires to set curriculum to based on guide line presented by the board of education which becomes the basis for entry exams for universities. Any school that does not follow the guide lines are not recognized as authorized schools since the students had not received the amount of education set through the guide lines. A school that is not recognized is not eligible to receive state funds.

Even all authorized private schools develops their curriculum based on those guide lines and any extra lessons like biblical theology is added as extra curriculum and not cut any out from the guide line. The guide line also specify the texts that can be used which is based on the pre-set guide lines and the guide lines are reviewed periodically.

If a school does not utilize the authorized text and/or the guide line in which case it would not be authorized by the education board then why should the state provide funds? It's like providing funds to private cram schools. By the way I believe the students do receive student privilege like student discount on public transports by showing their student notebook like other students.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

Those desks and the rest of the classroom look just as crappy as any classroom I ever taught in, though the kids do seem to have a greater sense of respect for their surroundings and one another. Hmmmm, perhaps the Japanese schools should all switch to the NK model. That would also free up the government from subsidizing the Japanese "education" system. Perhaps the debt crisis could then be fixed.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Ok, I think most people here don't understand subsidized school rules. The government has a list of requirements, if you will, that say you must follow so many of the requirements to get money. Clearly a NK (North Korean) school can cover a bare minimum of those. This is Japan and the government gives out tax money the way the elected officials see fit. Many people don't understand that international schoo generally don't qualify for subsidizes. That is why they are so expensive. Yokohama International School is about 20k a year. The fact is if the NK schools would comply with the education rules they would have a case, from what little the writer tells about the school we can only guess. This is like any other country you follow the rules set by the government and you will what everyone else does. I don't feel bad for them, the Japanese government has been apologizing for too long. Let the history scholars argue about history, the Japanese people and the country need to put it behind them and move on. Honestly what they did was no worse than other countries, Japan was on the losing side of a very bad war long ago. These Korean Japanese need to quit playing the poor me card, they are Japanese like it or not. They have been assimilated for a long time.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Just fund the damn schools and let the kids get an education publicize the shit out of it. Give your cause the moral high ground and educates the kids. Win Win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are not Japanese because Japan has refused to give them the status of citizen for decades. Even kids that are now the 6th generation are not Japanese.

This is incorrect. Special permanent residents are free to obtain Japanese citizenship and many do. Far more choose not to, but that is their decision, not the Japanese governments. One of the many reasons for this is the desire not to lose their identity as Koreans.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It always happen. People like being part of something. They dont want to be north koreans or japanese. They want to be what they are. ZEINICHI. im sure that somehow they love that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"The classrooms, with their chalky blackboards and flimsy desks, look like they haven’t been changed since the 1950s, when the school first opened." Japan should take a look at its jr high school classrooms. The description is exactly the same, at least in Nishinomiya city schools.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Far more choose not to,

More than half of applicants to naturalisation are Korean.

One of the many reasons for this is the desire not to lose their identity as Koreans.

Or more likely to lose the passport they might need in case they get forced to leave Japan to flee pogroms, or to visit North-Korea to meet relatives there. And when you see the current government, you can't blame them for worrying... The main reason I heard from those over 40 is they had applied and were refused, so they had to live without it and have been heavily discriminated for work. Now, they have made there careers another way, that wouldn't change anything for them. Then more than half of the kids are Japanese from the other parent. The others will see for themselves when they are 20. Treating their school as pariah organizations is not a great way to encourage them. Refusing them the double nationality that is now allowed to others is not great either,

0 ( +2 / -2 )

noriyosan73Aug. 26, 2013 - 02:36AM JST "The classrooms, with their chalky blackboards and flimsy desks, look like they haven’t been changed since the 1950s,

Well that makes sense, Have you seen the North Korean PLA uniforms, heard their news casts?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

My post was cut... still answering to Slumdog.

Special permanent residents are free to obtain Japanese citizenship

No, they are not "free to obtain" but free to apply. They are like other foreigners. Do you feel you're free to become a Japanese citizen ? In my country (not Japan as pigs will fly before I can become a Japanese), children of foreigner born their or having lived there most of their life simply need to check "yes, I want to become a citizen" when they turn 18, and it's automatically accepted (only ID checking). The zainichi may have a special status as residents, but they have no simpler application process. Like me, they have to go through a lot of paper work and a long screening (even police investigation). Up to the late 80's, they were nearly systematically refused. Even now, the approval is not guaranteed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Japanese education system who apparently has no say as to the education of these children, and also noted as to their devotion to the North Korean nation, should have no obligation to fund them. If their parents wish this form of their education to continue, then it is fair to have their parents find the funding, no doubt some can find a way to have the North send counterfeit US money to fund them!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The title says it all - the pressure is on pro-North Korea schools, not South Korea. Can't blame the Japanese government if it is concerned about what seems like to be or what could potentially be a Pyongyang "trojan horse", not just in the schools in question but in the pro-NK communities in general.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"There are only four schools for Koreans in Japan that are aligned with the South and they were not excluded from the government subsidies."

Why should the Japanese government subsidize brainwashing and possible "sleeper cell training" within their borders?! You'd have to be mad to say this could never happen. If those Pro NK schools don't like it, why don't they ask their dear leader to move them all back to the mothership? I'm sure they'd all love that. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Pick your freedom, so to speak.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I know I am not in any position to judge these youths/schools, but they're not making any sense at all. Shouldn't Japan just deport all these N.Koreans to S.Korea, perhaps it might help, after all if they send these kids back in N.Korea I doubt they will live and be themselves still.

@ Alejandro Dela Cruz - These kids were born in Japan, many of them 3rd, even 4th generation in Japan. The Japanese government has no grounds to deport them out of the country, unless Japan believes in deporting people for their political views or allegiance. If anything, they have more right to live in Japan than most of the expats posting here, including you.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan isn't going to deport these citizens. They enjoy the life here, good food and plenty of it, and free, open internet. Does Japan certify the quality of education in the high schools for academic achievement just as it does in its high schools? If it does, why? Certainly, this school is not meeting the academic requirements that other citizens must meet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By discriminating these schools, Japanese Govt. is encouraging these children to be anti Japan people. Be nice tp children, Don't make them grow up to be anti-Japan residents. This is just my opinion. I hate to mix adult politics with children,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mitch CohenAug. 26, 2013 - 05:40AM JST These kids were born in Japan, many of them 3rd, even 4th generation in Japan

Then they should be going to Japanese schools like everyone else. Or, if they could go to South Korean school if they want. North Korea is where it is because of brainwashing from a young age. Maybe there isn't much the world can do about it going on in North Korea, but it should not be tolerated in other countries.

-1 ( +2 / -4 )

No, they are not "free to obtain" but free to apply. They are like other foreigners.

The process is much easier for Korean special permanent residents in Japan and most, if not all, that apply get citizenship. Their situation is not like that of other non-Japanese. It is not the Japanese government's fault if the special permanent resident Koreans do not want to give up their citizenship. It is the choice of the people not applying in this case, not the Japanese government.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Ossan: Not all Japanese schools teach same way. There are many private schools such as this one. ////for instance /christian missionaries operated schools. Then Gakushuin, Keiou where lit is famous on hard entrance exam for kindergarten entrance. Then Ochanomizu. Tthese are just a few examples in Tokyo, Many cities in 37 prefectures. Figure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then they should be going to Japanese schools like everyone else.

Everyone else is not going to Japanese schools.

It's like providing funds to private cram schools.

And that's what is done, jukus get public fundings, eikaiwa too in some cases. Whatever you think about it, public funding is provided to all sorts of schools that differ from Japanese public school. What the article says is exact, the Korean schools are not excluded due to insufficient compliance to academic standards. It's a purely political measure and that's how the government presents it.

The process is much easier for Korean special permanent residents

There is only one process. If you don't believe call the immig' and say you're Korean. And it's a useless debate, I agree it's easier now. My point is they are not a group of people anti-Japanese, unwilling to participate to society and refusing integration. They have really been imposed a total segregation until 20 yrs ago. Now, they can't change overnight and the others, mainstream people have not really changed their ways either.

It is not the Japanese government's fault if the special permanent resident Koreans do not want to give up their citizenship.

I don't see why they should have to give up anything nor to beg to become a citizen of their own country. The story about having to get only one nationality is a big joke when a Fujimori can keep two. In case of war, certain countries treat people that naturalized as spies whether they kept or abandoned the other nationality or never had it (ask my grand-dad how that takes you get your nationality canceled). And in Japan, no need to be in a war, many are already considering every ethnic Korean is a spy working for Pyongyang.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't see why they should have to give up anything nor to beg to become a citizen of their own country.

I do not think Fujimori retained his Peruvian citizenship when he took the Japanese one. Do you know differently for a fact? Anyway, it is the law of Japanese that dual citizenship is not allowed. The Korean special permanent residents are not citizens until they apply to be, as in any other country.

There is only one process. If you don't believe call the immig' and say you're Korean. And it's a useless debate,

It is a useless debate because you seem to be unwilling to face reality. They don't call immigration and say they are 'Korean'. They are not just 'Korean'. They are special permanent residents with very different rules than other foreign residents of Japan. The year is 2013, not the 80's (which were 30 years ago, not 20). The process is actually rather simple and painless and really does not take that much paperwork. If they want to be citizens of Japan, they should apply to be citizens of Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seems a lot of folks here are confused on J-history, little refresher, Japan kidnapped, took forced labourers tricked & let KOREANS come to Japan when KOREA was colonized.

AFTER WWII North & South Korea came into being in case any of you forgot.

Now you wont get me heaping any praise on NKorea, but what Japan is doing to these schools is despicable.

You want to do a score card go ahead, list all the bad things North Korea has done to Japan, now also list all the bad things Japan did to Northern Korea(while it was ALL still Korea)

Anyone one wanna guess who has done more bad stuff.

Again I aint heaping any praise on NKorean but when Japan does this STUPID stuff to schools (who happen to be NKorean) Japan only makes itself look bad, & rather daft I must say

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Cos

And that's what is done, jukus get public fundings, eikaiwa too in some cases.

Nope, it's the individuals that apply for educational teaching that receives the funding not the school.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many of the vicious comments above, reflect ignorance and anti North Korean Japanese media influenced propaganda. Has anyone ever stopped to think that parents might choose to send their children to one of these schools, because they want to preserve their culture and educate their children in a safe and nurturing environment? Japanese schools do NOT provide this option.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Of course you think that -- because Japan was 100% in the wrong. And now it's going down the same road yet again. Maybe they can mention to the IOC that Japan is looking to "Discover Tomorrow" by serving intolerance.

OK, I can certainly accept your claim that Japan is 100% in the wrong, so admittedly it'll be somewhat convenient for them. Now answer my question: What do the Chinese and Koreans stand to lose if they never taught about it in school again (or taught it in the minimalistic Japanese manner), except for some hate against people (almost all the real harmers are dead or incapacitated by now) and some faint hope of getting compensation (which paid out today would be fleeced from people that didn't hurt them and to people who weren't hurt)?

I don't mind Truth Education when it is just truth education. In fact, I'm all for it. When Truth Education turns into de facto Hate Education, that's something else...

Like I said... intolerance, but aren't you in the "with us or against us" school, Willi?

If we really must play this "tolerance" card, then you must conclude that Japan can teach whatever history it likes within its own borders. Frankly, it is not nearly as harmful as what North Korea puts out since it seems Japan's program creates quite pacifist citizens.

Using CHILDREN as a political football for misgivings between Japan and NK seems unethical.

Actually, it is North Korea that's playing this card more than Japan. As far as I can see, all Japan is doing is revoking a special privilege.

That would be valid for the gaijin schools where children learn only English and end up with a crappy level of Japanese. But all chosen-gakko kids are getting a fully bilingual education. Their Japanese is at the same level as that of students in Japanese schools. I don't see in what they are less prepared to work in Japan.

That would seem rather unlikely given that they are splitting their efforts into two. But even if we accept that, there are also ideological slants to consider.

You might think it is close to religion, but suppose Catholicism includes rather specific anti-Japanese clauses. Would the Japanese be justified in revoking their privileges? I think so.

And I think many people underestimate the subtle influence of education in their upbringing. They like to think their thoughts are their own. As one example, you seem to think the NK indoctrination (which you just admit exist) is pretty harmless, but if it is a matter of leaving certain historical events out of certain textbooks you would probably take a completely different tack. This attitude is illogical (how you can think active indoctrination is less harmful than merely leaving something out), and can only be a consequence of a particular upbringing.

The rich Zainichi could fund the schools. Look, they already fund their banks, their companies, their restaurants, their orchestras, their real estate agencies, etc. Actually, they could buy about 1/3 of Osaka, build gates around and make it an all North-Korean city keeping their taxes for themselves to be nearly self-sufficient , Singapore style. But they want to be part of Japanese society like the Jews want to be part of societies in Europe. America, etc. I think it's a really big mistake to reject them.

Then let them do so. Make the school fully private.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Susan Menadue Chun:

" that parents might choose to send their children to one of these schools, because they want to preserve their culture "

What culture? The artificial culture foisted upon the North Korean people by the Kim dynasty, where the Kims have practically obtained God status, has nothing to do with traditional Korean culture. It is a megalomanic, genocidal culture of the type that the Nazis erected in Germany. You want to respect that? Please.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

First: The people who attend Chongryon Korean schools also pay taxes. So actually it is not a question of the government "giving" money away for free. Rather, it is like that US Republican plan to give social groups money and let them have their own schools if they choose to.

The question is, is this action for the satisfaction of those who wish to punish those involved with the Chongryon school system, or is it intended to integrate Chongryon family children into Japanese society? If it is the latter, then success is already happening, and it is proportional to the degree to which Japanese no longer care about koseki when it comes to employment or marriage. Since the integration is already succeeding, the punishment would be gratuitous, and most likely counterproductive.

The carrot: a fair and just Japan with liberty and justice for all, is much better than the stick. It is why "Japan Federation of Bar Associations" has protested this proposal. The lawyers obviously do not pay homage to Kim Il Jung. The pay homage to rule by fair law. Fair law includes tolerance for the views of minorities which do not coincide with those of the majority. WIthout such tolerance, democracy can fail. It does not mean one has to agree with those views; it just means peacefully agree to disagree.

The following article is useful background reading: Young ‘Zainichi’ Koreans look beyond Chongryon ideology

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CraigHicks

First: The people who attend Chongryon Korean schools also pay taxes. So actually it is not a question of the government "giving" money away for free. Rather, it is like that US Republican plan to give social groups money and let them have their own schools if they choose to.

Governments are not in the business to cater each and every minority group's individual needs and demands just because they are paying taxes. The government will set mandatory guide lines in which all groups/individuals are required to fulfill to match social consensus of what would be beneficial to the society as a whole to obtain government funding. The guide lines reflects the Japanese constitution which honors individual and social prosperity. The government does not prohibit private tutoring as long as they provide mandatory education as written within again within the constitution.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@SamuraiBlu3e: Ar4e you sure Japanese Govt set mandatory guide? Did you check Gakushuin?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toshiko

Can you specify what is taught in public schools that are not taught at Gakushuin? There are some that is other way around but that is extra curriculum which is taught at many private schools but the basic is taught at all authorized schools.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Gakushuin, it has different text books than public schools. Public schools train students to be folloeres in society. Gakushuin trains leaders. When rumor of royal member engagement spread in Japan, students are taught how to avoid crowded medias at the school gate after they get off from their chauffeur driven limo at the gate. Different text books in Bungaku, Kanbun, rika, shaki, etcs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people who attend Chongryon Korean schools also pay taxes.

Yes they do, and some of them may even be, as Cos suggests, in that 20% of the population that contributes 80% of the taxes. Nevertheless, given their percentage slice in the population (1% maybe) and how the story is always that they are getting bullied, the fact remains that of every 100 taxpayer yen going into those schools, 99 yen would be Japanese and 1 yen would be Zainichi.

It is one thing to give certain neutral social groups money, but a hostile group?

Young ‘Zainichi’ Koreans look beyond Chongryon ideology

The very title of this admits the problem. Sure, some Zainichi Koreans look beyond Chongryon ideology. Others don't. And the whole idea that they are looking 'beyond' Chongryon ideology suggests Chongryon ideology is not exactly a good idea. Why should the Japanese taxpayer subsidize something that's not a good idea?

Many of the vicious comments above, reflect ignorance and anti North Korean Japanese media influenced propaganda. Has anyone ever stopped to think that parents might choose to send their children to one of these schools, because they want to preserve their culture and educate their children in a safe and nurturing environment? Japanese schools do NOT provide this option.

Let's talk about preserving the culture part. Does the "culture" include anti-Japanese components? If yes, is that not compatible with someone who claims to want to live in Japan? Besides, there's a strong argument to be made that if you want to live in another country, you blend into their culture rather than trying to insist on your own.

As for nurturing, your statement already assumes a Japanese school would be less 'nurturing' than a Korean one. Let's see you justify this.

'Safe', I assume is the fear that anti-Korean sentiment might disadvantage them. Now, not being a Zainichi, I will refrain from making definitive comments on the degree of discrimination they receive, except to suggest that their perception might be a bit more than the reality. Nevertheless, if we are to assume anti-Korean sentiment is a substantial threat, the attempt to isolate them in a Korean school won't solve any problems. They can still be attacked as they get out of it, for example. No, the best way is to return to Korea (certainly if it is so dangerous you would do this for your kids). The 2nd best way is to try to blend in, not to create another difference (i.e. point for attack) by hiding yourself in a Korean school which is at least rumored to be teaching dangerous ideology...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Korean children going to Japanese schools? Are you sure they can concentrate in studying instead of learning they are hated in Japan? Too young to grow leaning Japanese hatred against them. Some Korean students whose family can not afford this kind of school. Go check any public school ground or room before you recommend Japanese schools. Poor Korean kids were called by names and garlic smells and many of them believe they are less animal than dogs or cats. Just check public school ground.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Lets see, lots of talk about "anti-Japanese"............h'mmm

Lets see, the current PM is Japanese BUT a lot of the things he says, thinks in his "mind" are "pro" Japanese but really are they................h'mmm, then that would lead logically to the question, is the current PM actually pro or anti......................Japanese.

I know the PM "thinks" he is pro Japanese, but the reality is well perhaps the opposite considering the what comes out of his mouth, pretty interest eh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@GW: What is your opinion on this article? About Japanese Govt's decision and existence of this kind of schools in Japan?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In a strange twist of fate, at least graduates of S. Korean related high schools are in demand (after further graduation from university). With the rise of S. Korea, now companies want Korean speaking staff. Companies used to have extensive in-house education where they provided language training to teach Japanese staff Korean language (and lots of other stuff: English, accounting, engineering). But most in-house education is gone now, so companies want people who can already do things. I don't know the situation for Korean speaking grads of N. Korean schools. Anyway, it's a generation thing. I and young people don't care about whether your zainichi Chinese or Korean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone has the right to learn their culture or background. Denying someone their freedom and human dignity is wrong it's like denying someone's human existence, despite how absurd the Kim regime and North Korean government works.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probot2000X

The Japanese government is not denying the their rights if they want they can continue to do so. The Japanese government is denying to continue providing funds to those schools that is all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I know that Japanese society is cloesed society. But still, it is very strange for me about the fact that people in this article want to stay their communities. In this situation, do they really feel they are from Korean? Do you think themselves as Japanese? Definitely not. Such way of thinking by elder people in that society have a bad impact on children's educaiton. I hope that children in that socity can think themselve as who they are even though they have no choice but to live in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are still some stupid-arsed, out-dated, pro-Pyongyang, Chongryon-based (the pro-North Zainichi Korean organization) Zainichi Koreans and left-wingers in Japan (though they are in the minority), and they will call you a "racist" if you criticize these pro-Pyongyang schools or North Korea (seriously). They will get upset if you call the Dear Leaders dictators (which they are). They still believe that North Korea is just a "normal country" and anyone who criticizes it is just being a racist, yet they will never even live there. It's ridiculous, and it needs to stop.

MOST ZAINICHI KOREANS DO NO SUPPORT THESE PRO-PYONGYANG SCHOOLS ANYMORE! Most of their kids just go to normal Japanese schools. Most Zainichi Koreans are no longer affiliated with Chongryon. Anyone who still supports North Korea is seriously living in the past.

NORTH KOREA AND THEIR DEAR LEADERS SHOULD NOT BE SUPPORTED! PERIOD! Don't be stupid.

That is to say, that this is also not the fault of the Japanese government. The Japanese government deliberately let this go on because it was convenient for them. They liked that the Zainichi Koreans would eventually "go back" to North Korea. However that is impossible now.

Here are some things that need to be done:

Let these "North Korean schools" cut off their connection with Chongryon. Stop being a pro-North school.

Dismantle Chongryon. Which will eventually happen anyway, because they are lacking in funds.

Make an effort to end discrimination against Zainichi Koreans in Japanese schools. Teach some Korean ethnic education.

Give Japanese nationality to Zainichi Koreans (though some Zainichi Koreans will still refuse to become "Japanese" due to history).
-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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