national

N Koreans in Japan loyal to roots amid discrimination

37 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


37 Comments
Login to comment

Schools like the North Korean Junior and Senior High School in Tokyo underline a deep divide in a country often portrayed as homogeneous.

This is the wrong use of the word homogeneous here, as one definition of the word is;

 corresponding in structure because of a common origin.

Japanese and Koreans share common origins, it's just a matter of whether or not people will want to accept and believe it!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Correct, modern day Japanese are descendants of settlers from Korea, Mongols, etc.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

In the U.S., being born there makes one an American. In Japan, citizenship must be acquired for immigrants through a government system. Some have complained the process forces people to give up their loyalties to the cultures of their origin.

Please STOP with the constant comparisons to the US when it comes to issues of citizenship.

The legal term for birthright citizenship is jus soli, or "right of the soil." 

The US is an anomaly as there are relatively few developed countries that give the right of citizenship upon birth.

Giving up loyalties is a part of what taking citizenship means, unless the country recognizes dual(or more) citizenship, Japan doesn't.

The Japanese government loathes the idea of granting dual citizenship for a host of reasons.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Actually valid as you can get Citizenship by just being born on US soil, don't work in other countries.

Most of the world is like Japan where you need to apply for Citizenship, same token there are plenty of countries where dual-citizenship is NOT accepted (mine being one).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

pacintToday 06:51 am JSTCorrect, modern day Japanese are descendants of settlers from Korea, Mongols, etc.

That's technically incorrect. The original Jomon people who were in Japan from 10000 BC have never been traced as to origin. And the Yaoi people who came across from the Korean Peninsula later did so nearly 2000 years ago. So today's "modern Japanese" have intermixed and are hardly "direct descendants" of those settlers. There is certainly a common origin, but not as absolute as one would think.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Contemptable propaganda. On any of these visits did they go to the political prisons and watch innocent families raped and tortured because one of their relatives escaped North Korea? Me thinks not.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

crazy people

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"It was a fantastic place," said Kum, whose father works as an editor of a publication for the North Korean community in Japan. "They had cows."

OMG COWS?!!!!

Contemptable propaganda. On any of these visits did they go to the political prisons and watch innocent families raped and tortured because one of their relatives escaped North Korea? Me thinks not.

You and I know that it happens. In the past it happened to their ancestors in Japan as well. It's sad that the discrimination they face in Japan makes them feel like they would be better off back in North Korea.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The US is an anomaly as there are relatively few developed countries that give the right of citizenship upon birth.

I tend to agree with you Yubaru most of the time. However, according to wikipedia your above statement is wrong. If you look at the link below, nearly all countries in the Americas grant it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Actually valid as you can get Citizenship by just being born on US soil, don't work in other countries.

Most of the world is like Japan where you need to apply for Citizenship, same token there are plenty of countries where dual-citizenship is NOT accepted (mine being one).

sorry mate. forgot to address your message. Not meaning to be disrespectful to either of you guys. Just thought I'd point out a mistake in your posts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan will regret letting these schools exist.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Know someone who has been part of this community... and now is starting to leave it, while you can understand wanting to belong to something, being part of that community is as much insular as it it protective.

Not an easy thing.

Personally I have to say I don't really get it, a third generation in Japan surely their identity is all but Japanese if they are participating in society at all, and would think while they may or may not choose to make it known that they have mixed heritage, which they shouldn't be judged for badly, somewhere in their families past why would you against the sadly existent difficulties choose to continue to align to a rouge state with a dictator putting the entire world in peril...

Ossan, has a Japanese person never done a DNA test? There aren't that many groups to come from 10000 years ago.. and we all come from the same point if you go back far enough, no "magic" races.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Again, so what Just solutions is not the norm get that many Us people don't get it.

Ditto that dual, etc Citizenship is not desired by most, guess citizenship varies between nations in value and definition.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should be Jus Soli, auto correct is still flaky.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article starts by talking about the North Korean schools. Then it starts mixing all "Koreans" together. If people of Korean heritage consider NORTH Korea their homeland they should all move there and be happy. And make everyone else happy. If they don't want to do it, they can apply for Japanese or South Korean citizenship. I don't understand how these people, who either immigrated to or were brought to Japan can consider North Korea their homeland when neither North or South Korea existed when WWII ended. Why can't they preserve their "Korean" heritage by obtaining South Korean citizenship?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Park views North Koreans as misunderstood victims.

"I want to believe my country is right, and I have believed in my country since I was a child, and that isn't going to waver," he said. "I believe my country is right."

I am so happy finally English or western media focus on this issue for better understanding Japan.

This also involves a recent issue called,"朝鮮学校 無償化 問題"(Chyousen gakkou Musyouka Mondai),meaning North Korean School Financial Support Issue. North Korean schools filed a lawsuit against Japanese people for stop giving a financial support to them while other international schools get. They say Japan is not fair to them!

You see, Japan actually is such a generous country that it pays financial support not only Japanese schools but also international schools in Japan including US, British, Chinese, South Korea and all others including North Korean schools. And the problem is as you know, they teach Kim Jong-un and his father as a respectable leaders, when they are abducting Japanese people, Korean Air bomb, missile flying near commercial airline over Japanese island, Anti-Japan education and so on.

You can also check some misuse on mismanagement issue by North Korean school and suspicious move in Japan. They also demand for Japanese citizenship while refusing giving up North Korean’s citizenship. They want to join Japanese politics and power.

I would like to hear non-Japanese people’s opinion. What should Japan do with these people?

I mean, If this was the US, how would you feel if there were some schools in the US and people refusing to be Americans and instead worshipping Osama bin Laden as a hero, demanding financial support for education from tax payer saying that this is discrimination against minority?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Good questions, hachikou. It is relatively easier for outsiders to see the positions of both sides clearly.

One mistake, however. There are two photos above the blackboard, but not the third, ie Kim Jong-Un.  Why have the North Korean community in Japan not accepted their new leader? Is there a grain of doubt hidden behind all that massive bluff?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PS and I would love to hear what the community leaders really think about the political assassination of his elder brother Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia recently.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kim Jong Nam assassination was bad and uneeded regardless of which side you support.

Mods why do I get unsupported function error messages, yet same post(cut and pasted) is accepted after I refresh the page.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thank god they don’t receive subsidies, and any funding from NK should be immediately sanctioned and cut off.

What will these NK agents do in the case of conflict? Activate? What are they even doing in Japan? They are actually making it harder for peaceful SK people in Japan too

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sounds like the need a one way ticket to the DPRK

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Look who's talking! You have the same issue in this country regarding Moritomo Gakuen!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Strikebreaker555

Pretty hilarious that you see Japanese Nationalism as something that a Japanese person would see as akin to North Korean nationalism.

Perhaps you see the world only from your single (insular) perspective?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

North Korean propaganda shouldnt be allowed to be taught in schools.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You see, Japan actually is such a generous country that it pays financial support not only Japanese schools but also international schools in Japan including US, British, Chinese, South Korea and all others including North Korean schools.

No.  No foreign schools receive financial suport from Japan except some Korean schools, who use threat on municipalities.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Hachiko. 17 abducties happened generations ago. These Japanese citizens with Korean heritage weren't even born then. Christian schools also get tax money, but their religion continues to kill millions around the world even now.

i think most foreigners who live here, chose to live here. We want to be a part of Japan and only wish good. But can't vote etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

One of the worst atrocities against Koreans in Japan came after the Sept. 1, 1923, Great Kanto Earthquake, when thousands were lynched by vigilante mobs and police after false rumors spread that they were poisoning wells.

Fake news has always been with us, sadly. And it proliferates online, often unchecked.

It's heartening that they are loyal to their roots. Most ex-pats are.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I took my daughters to the Chosen (N. Korea) school festival today in Nishikunitachi everyone was very friendly to us and they loved my girls. There were dances musical performances great food and of course booze. I volunteered to help them out with this and that education-wise so will start that in the near future. I am the first American they've ever met so are quite curious about me and I them. Most, if not all were 'zainichi' born in Japan 2nd - 4th generation-ish. I gave them copies of an old Tokyo Classified interview about the volunteer projects I do in SE Asia to break the ice :-)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Macv - I live nearby in Kunitachi and would love to have visited that festival. Unfortunately working in Yokohama today. Is it a one or two day event?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nandakandamandaToday 11:44 am JSTPS and I would love to hear what the community leaders really think about the political assassination of his elder brother Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia recently.

I think they will deny and DPRK involvement in line with the NK government. I can't see them suggesting anything to contradict it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nandakandamandaToday 11:42 am

One mistake, however. There are two photos above the blackboard, but not the third, ie Kim Jong-Un. 

Right, my mistake.

tinawatanabeToday 04:30 pm .

No. No foreign schools receive financial suport from Japan except some Korean schools, who use threat on municipalities.

They do. I meant high school. sorry.

This is the Japanese goverment website with a list of international schools in Japan Japanese goverment support  financially, which used to include North Korean school and now on debate.

http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/shotou/mushouka/1307345.htm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

thepersoniamnowNov. 4  03:20 pm JST

North Korean propaganda shouldnt be allowed to be taught in schools.

Not a fan of korea, but what about freedom of speech? only free when in line with my view?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not the main point of the article, but why does Japan have a system to provide subsidies to private schools? They wouldn’t be private then, would they.

They and anyone can teach their kids what they like, but I don’t see why tax payers like me should pay for their business. I’d be happy for all subsidies to be cut, for all schools, and taxes for families with school age children cut accordingly, instead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have met a couple of people who went through these schools. One in particular is a pretty remarkable person who went to the "North" Korean schools in Japan, went to university in the U.S., and worked for a couple of large Japanese companies here. She was born in Japan, maintains a South Korean passport, and has the status of "tokubetsu eijuken". She is probably one of the most open minded people I know and has very keen critical thinking skills. She has experienced discrimination in Japan (housing) however is quite pragmatic and is quite "loyal" to Japan with a healthy dose of skepticism. According to her very few if no people who have gone through the "North" Korean education schools in Japan have any respect for the Kim regimes and have any desire to be part of North Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The subsidies to private schools are illegal under the Japanese constitution and should be stopped for all private schools, not just the North Korean ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not just case with Koreans, Japanese discriminate everyone, including those who are born here but do not have a grandmother or grandfather Japanese.

As for North Koreans, well Japan is a modern communism and in pretty much everything very similar to North Korea. No freedom, everything controlled by government, I remember one nice sentence I have red somewhere: Japan is North Korea with GDP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites