Sanctions noose makes it harder for Japan's Koreans to help their own

By Ju-min Park

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When are the north Koreans standing up against their terrible regime?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

the man, who said he gets by on 140,000 yen from the Japanese government each month.

A portion of which is being shipped to the North, a further portion of which is pocketed by the North's government. So in a way, we taxpayers in Japan are helping support the world's most evil regime. Nice.

These people have had a tragic past -- in the postwar period because of their own bad choices -- but they also need to acknowledge their role in propping up a regime that is responsible for inflicting all this misery in the first place.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

North Koreans can help their countrymen by helping South Korea, Japan, US put an end to the repressive Kim regime.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

the guy is on welfare and send the money back to north korea. He is not even Japanese. And I have to die to make a living.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

When are the north Koreans standing up against their terrible regime?

as soon as they come to know it is a 'terrible' regime.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Much of the Korean community in Japan is descended from people who were shipped across as forced labor during >Tokyo’s 35-year colonial rule of the Korean peninsula

That is not correct. Most were not forced. They came for the same reason that they still come, for the same reason they did not return to Korea after the war and for the same reason this man featured in this article came back to Japan and not to South Korea.

The reason is they wanted to be in Japan.

140000 yen a month is more than Japanese can get from the government. Koreans get special benefits form Japan and that is another reason they don’t leave.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

In reality, he survived 47 years there thanks only to $1 million in support from his half-brother in Japan.

How many people in the world are fortunate enough to even see 1/10 of that amount of money? That's over $20,000 per year! There are people here in Japan living on less than that today.

I wish I had a brother that would send me that much cash.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The man said the ministry did not get in touch again, so he assumed the money was sent. Japan’s post offices are able to carry out banking functions, such as sending money abroad.

When it comes to anything to do with the Japanese government here I have learned that it's never safe to assume anything.

And I am gaijin, he's Japanese, he should know better.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

When are the north Koreans standing up against their terrible regime?

In the gulags, freezing, starving, and being beaten, worked and tortured to death. Or maybe just too tired and hungry to stand up. Don't start handing out judgement of people living in that situation; you've no idea what it's like to live in that environment, and no authority to say that you wouls 'stand up' either.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

In any case, I would not want to be one of those relatives in Japan, or South Korea, hoping against hope that my family were safe or even alive, and sending out money without even being sure that it would go into their pockets and not those of the inhuman KWP regime. Living with that burden must be agony.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When are the north Koreans standing up against their terrible regime?

They're too brainwashed to do that. The ones that aren't are dead or in camps.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My take from this article is that for all hostility between Japan and North Korea, Japan is still willing to allow North Koreans in Japan to aid their relatives in North Korea, a bit of compassion that probably most people don't realize occurs.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@mikihouse, yes I think so too. To think that there are 100% Japanese dying on the streets and can't receive welfare just because they don't have a domicile to fill in their applications. And to think that there are foreigners who have permanent visas but with scrupulous origins and some are receiving pension/welfare too. Such an unfair world!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

the north regime need to change first (with perhaps a new democractic govnt)..if not the current regime need to change its view of the world..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the guy is on welfare and send the money back to north korea. He is not even Japanese. And I have to die to make a living.

I don't quite understand the connection with "he is not even Japanese" and you having "to die" to make a living (you poor thing). If he receives welfare payments, it means he legally qualifies for such payments. Are you saying non-Japanese (assuming that the guy doesn't have Japanese nationality, as some ethnic Koreans here do) shouldn't receive welfare or pensions even though they have contributed the necessary amounts to qualify into Japanese national insurance and pension systems? (I'm not sure if there are merely humanitarian grounds for receiving welfare payments in Japan, but if there are, is he to be denied?) And if he receives his welfare legally, then surely he can do anything with the money that he's legally entitled to. From the article, it seems he lives on the 140,000 yen a month (hardly a king's ransom in Japan), so he might be using his personal savings to send to Korea. And I'm sure he doesn't think he is sending money to help support the Korean dictatorship...he just wants to help his poor family. Wouldn't you want to do the same thing?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Billyshears - your comments infuriate me as a hard-working tax payer in this country, and I am sure will infuriate other hardworking taxpayers too.

If he receives welfare payments, it means that he can not or will not work, and is therefore being supported by the government. I would argue that If he was working , he is entitled to send as much of his OWN money to that dictator in N. Korea as he likes.

However this is not his own money. This is the governments money, and the taxpayers money, and he is abusing the system in order to help support another countries fascist regime. Surely if he wanted to help his poor family, he would have already taken them over to Japan - he would be well within his legal rights to attempt act as their guarantor, having been here so long. He could use the money on plane fares instead. For example.

And If he has personal savings which are so much that he can live off them on a long term basis, them he should not be entitled to welfare payments in the first place. End of.

It is not so much the fairly paltry amount of money, but its the principal. Its the fact that this "gaijin" is abusing the system and setting back thousands of other "gaijin" working hard and staying within the laws. Not funding Kim's champagne fund.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

And while we are at it - Good. Please make these sanctions much much harder.

While Kim is up to his naughty tricks, Japan should be as suspicious as possible regarding ALL activity between itself and North Korea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The United States and Japan has lead these North koreans living in hardships and sorrow of seperations! But their defiances were admirable! The Norths Koreans shall never support Seoul because they know who has 'the blood all over hands'!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Japan was bad to the Koreans, now Japanis stuck with all these zainichi Koreans and North Koreans! Both sides need to talk and sit down so they can move forward and stop living in the past! One way to move forward is to make sure young Japanese study about Japan's horrible past, not too far from what the Nazis did in Europe, so as to never have this kind of tragedy ever happen again.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Oldsanno, most of North Korean defectors end up in South Korea, not Japan. South Korea has 25,000 of them and growing rapidly, Japan has about a dozen, if even that. This man went back to Japan because that's where he was born and raised, and where he had his roots and family. But this is not a typical story of North Korean defectors who mostly end up in South Korea.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Some people forget the lessons of history and just how much more effective North Korea has been at sealing itself off from almost all outside influence; while holding its own population captive and perpetrating the kind of brainwashing and segregation that even the Nazis would find incredible. I've seen accounts of defectors to South Korea still tearing up at the sight of Kim Il Sung or his son/grandson on tv- and most will readily admit that when they were living in the North, they thought they were happy as they had no point of comparison with the outside world. This may be slowly changing as smuggled S. Korean and Chinese tv shows/movies have been making the rounds; but with a society in which your closest friends, neighbours and even family are keeping a close eye on you- we have no right to pass judgement over the average North Korean citizen. Throw that together with Korean history and its repeated invasions and subsequent extreme xenophobia (Keep in mind that South Korea still had military dictatorships into the 1980s), and you can see that North Korea still has a long way to go in breaking the ice internally and externally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow! The article is pretty interesting, but no where near as in interesting as the comments. So many varied opinions! Many of them are purely emotional responses though. If you read between the lines you will see a long history of Japanese prejudice towards all foreigners, which continues through to the present day. Yeah, Japan is the promised land! They promise to treat you Ike a sub-human if you are not Japanese. Any foreigner that has lived here for any leangth of time will be completely aware of it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

They promise to treat you Ike a sub-human if you are not Japanese. Any foreigner that has lived here for any leangth of time will be completely aware of it.

Mmm. I mustn't have been here long enough yet then.

I think you'll find most if not all of the posters complaining about the 66-year-old getting money from the government are not Japanese.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@cleo, haven't you heard a few of some outspoken Japanese obaasan then. I bet that the man is in government housing enjoying the discounted rent while through and through Japanese die on the streets each winter. But I don't agree when he said treating non Japanese as sub human. Remember the Cordero's? It's a matter of strategy and approach. Perhaps, Disillusioned's username when he's over with his own emotion would change his username to Enlightened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

haven't you heard a few of some outspoken Japanese obaasan then

Promising to treat me like a sub-human for not being Japanese? No, never. Complaining about others getting subsidised housing/welfare payments/taking 'our' jobs? Yes, I've heard that - here and back in the UK. Nothing typically Japanese about that one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The aquariums of Pyongyang" should be compulsory reading for everybody living in Asia (both pro or anti north korea).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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