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There are cases in Japan in which people are discriminated against, or refused work or marriage because they are Korean residents. We encourage people to come and consult us, no matter how small the m

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Ryang Yong-song, a representative of Organization of United Korean Youth in Japan. The group has set up a free consultation counter where Koreans in Japan aged between their teens and their 30s can share their concerns about hate speech and other issues. (Mainichi Shimbun)

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A very good start would be to change this headline to "because they are Japanese of Korean origin". Also replace "Koreans in Japan" by Korean-Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Government needs to step in and improve the situation for all people who are born and live here but are not Japanese nationals with a Japanese passport. There needs to be laws against all forms of discrimination.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Refused marriage?" Government refuses to marry them?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Basically the postwar government of Japan never adopted any policy of assimilation for the Koreans. Instead it was a policy of oppression and that included a disrespect of their human rights and a exclusion policy. In other words the disadvantaged Koreans weren't able to maintain their ethnic identity. Instead it was the destruction of their ethnic identity. Therefore in this modern day many Koreans struggle with internal conflict and have a inferiority complex as a result of their ethnicity including a negative self-image of themselves in Japanese society because of discrimination and prejudice. If you want to establish a society in which the Koreans and Japanese can live together in unity and harmony, it would be necessary and vital on the part of Japan to take the proper attitude, show respect, and respond positively when we associate with the Koreans residing in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There are cases in Japan in which people are discriminated against, or refused work or marriage because they are Korean residents.

Say it isn't so!

Therefore in this modern day many Koreans struggle with internal conflict and have a inferiority complex as a result of their ethnicity including a negative self-image of themselves in Japanese society because of discrimination and prejudice

Novenachama -- based on my experience in Japan, I would 100% agree.

If you want to establish a society in which the Koreans and Japanese can live together in unity and harmony, it would be necessary and vital on the part of Japan to take the proper attitude, show respect, and respond positively when we associate with the Koreans residing in Japan.

One can dream, right?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@CanadianJapan Are we sure this article is actually referring to Japanese born Koreans or Korean migrants who may or may not have permanent residency yet? Still not good to discriminate but are we sure this article isn't deliberately mixing up groups just to construe a headline? Tabloids do that.

@Zichi Good news is it is progressing. Remember when Osaka uphold that anti-hate speech law earlier this year or when ethnic Japanese people literally tackled anti-Korean protesters in far greater numbers. It'll still take a while but Japan could become a leader in this area if they get it right. In many ways they're already better than most.

Still IMHO I neither think it's that bad nor entirely the fault of the Japanese. A lot of antipathy against Koreans in Japan is due to North Korea and the fact that there are highly pro-North Koreans living openly in Japan. Also even though I'm convinced Japan hates Koreans I'm not convinced that they hate them that much. And that the Koreans and Chinese hate the Japanese far, far more even beyond logic and reason. Case in point of the top ten richest people in Japan two of them are Korean: Masayoshi Son (3rd) and Han-Chong Woo (8th). The popular Toyota FJ Cruiser was designed by a Korean: Jin Won Kim. And most iconic of all cup noodles designed by Momofuku Ando who was originally born Wu Baifu in Taiwan post war. And then there's all the love for all things Korean and Chinese. Not such things exist on the mainland where they boycott Japanese goods, ransack Japanese businesses and make cussing anything Japanese a form of patriotism and moral uprightness.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

My Chinese friends took Japanese names when they changed citizenship, probably early 90's. Is that mandatory?

Think they picked common-place names so as not to offend anyone by being 'too Japanese'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My Chinese friends took Japanese names when they changed citizenship... Is that mandatory?

It's mandatory to take a name that can be written with hiragana/katakana/kanji. It doesn't necessarily have to be Tanaka or something, you could use sumisu (Smith) for example.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Novenachama -- based on my experience in Japan, I would 100% agree.

And jerseyboy, based upon my own experiences here in Japan, I would 100% agree with you, too.

I cannot tell you how many heartbreaking stories I have heard of people being cut off from their parents because they chose to marry second or third-generation Koreans (who to all intents and purposes had never even visited Korea, or spoke the language at all). In many cases, the non-Japanese partner ended up naturalizing against their will, and the children of those unions were forbidden from ever speaking of their Korean heritage to outsiders. Imagine growing up with that? Imagine having to confide something like that to your future marriage partner, knowing that you might be rejected as a result?

I don't know if it's a big deal in Kanto and northern Japan, but here in Kansai there has always been a large zainichi population, and I hear a lot of stories. A lot. It's an ongoing situation, don't believe otherwise.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's mandatory to take a name that can be written with hiragana/katakana/kanji. It doesn't necessarily have to be Tanaka or something, you could use sumisu (Smith) for example.

My name is in kanji even though not Korean/Japanese/Chinese. Same with my hanko.

舞来庵 慈智 路蓮津

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All good and well, but what protects Japanese against reckless hate speech from Koreans?

No nation is perfect, every nation in the world has issues with racism and xenophobic ignorance.

But that's hardly reason to slander an entire nation, as the anti Japan crowd continually does.

Anyways, there still exists the myth, perpetuated by the western media, that somehow ethnic Koreans are discriminated against en masse in Japanese society. When in fact many ethnic Koreans choose NOT to become Japanese citizens. And there isn't anything in Japanese immigration or citizenship rules which prevents people from having to change to a Japanese surname, or achieving citizenship if they wanted to.

Always many sides to a story.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How about making koseki access illegal by big corporations? We all know this goes on in Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Also even though I'm convinced Japan hates Koreans I'm not convinced that they hate them that much.

songwillem2011 -- LOL. So hating people just a little bit is OK, right? Unfortunately, based on my ten years in Japan, however, I am forced to agree with you, and that is the root problem with Japanese society -- they hate lots of other nationalities/races just a little and keep that hatred sort of under-the-radar. But, due to that hatred, foreigners can never truly assimilate there and the closed society just keeps shrinking and aging, and not allowing these people to contribute to the degree possible to Japan.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Boo hoo. Maybe ROK should stop acting so adversarial. As a gaijin I get judged bythe reputation of my home country all the time. It may not be fair but its just the way the world works.

The bit about 'being refused marriage' is just silly. The government doesn't prohibit anyone from getting married. If certain Japanese families don't want to have their family member marry a foreigner, oh well, that's their prerogative. That's bigotry on an individual level and has nothing to do with national policy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland, I believe it used to be mandatory that they take approved name kanji names like everyone else. I believe it is no longer the case (though could still be the tradition).

One note on being "refused jobs," they're talking about jobs that only Japanese citizens can do, due to them being part of the 国家試験 system, e.g. police, firemen, nurses and doctors. People who want to do these jobs can easily get citizenship, but by holding themselves apart from society they don't help the situation very much.

Incidentally I live in Gunma, where there are many Zainichi Koreans of North and South descent. (Silly to pretend that they're anything for an ethnic flavor of Japanese.) I used to visit the North Korean high school to try to get students for the school I taught at. It was...not a fun experience, let me tell you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are cases in Japan in which people are discriminated against, or refused work or marriage because they are Korean residents. We encourage people to come and consult us, no matter how small the matter.

Boo hoo hoo. They are not "discriminated". They simply chose on their own will to "separate" so there are, of course, repercussions including jobs that require Japanese citizenship.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Strangerland, I believe it used to be mandatory that they take approved name kanji names like everyone else. I believe it is no longer the case (though could still be the tradition).

It was still the case as of last year (when a guy I knew naturalized). A name written in Japanese is also required to register an alias (通称名).

Boo hoo hoo. They are not "discriminated".

You obviously don't know what the word 'discriminate' means.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You obviously don't know what the word 'discriminate' means.

Rubbish. If you choose not to assimilate you will be treated differently than those who do. Its common sense.

For the life of me I cannot understand the people who move to a foreign country and the moment they arrive start complaining that their individuality isn't being "respected" and that they don't get to do things just like they did back home. And if some individual doesn't want to marry you because of your ethnicity, then probably that's not the sort of person you should be marrying anyway. Seems like some people are suggesting the government should step in and require people to marry. Its ludicrous.

Also, acting like this is a "Japanese" problem is false. Go to any country in the world and you will find people who refuse to marry outside their own ethnicity. Pretending that such things don't occur in France and Canada and ROK and USA etc is intellectually dishonest and makes a mockery out of the discussion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you choose not to assimilate you will be treated differently than those who do. Its common sense.

While I agree with you, that isn't what does or doesn't define discrimination. Discrimination is the act of differing your actions based on whatever it is that is being discriminated. It has nothing to do with whether or not the person/people deserve being discriminated against.

Pretending that such things don't occur in France and Canada and ROK and USA etc is intellectually dishonest and makes a mockery out of the discussion.

Where has anyone said that other than you?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Discrimination is the act of differing your actions based on whatever it is that is being discriminated.

Given that definition, and I don't disagree with it, do you think discrimination is a) a bad thing, and b) likely to ever disappear from human society?

Where has anyone said that other than you?

All over the place? See jersey's comments above for example.

I am forced to agree with you, and that is the root problem with Japanese society -- they hate lots of other nationalities/races just a little and keep that hatred sort of under-the-radar. But, due to that hatred, foreigners can never truly assimilate there and the closed society just keeps shrinking and aging.

He is "forced" .. lol.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

do you think discrimination is a) a bad thing

Often. Not always. I can't say I don't like it when I get special treatment for being white.

b) likely to ever disappear from human society?

No. But I hope you aren't one of those people who thinks that since something cannot be done absolutely, that we should just not do anything about it at all. If everyone in the world thought that way, we'd never improve anything.

All over the place? See jersey's comments above for example.

I'm not seeing it. Where is the claim that these things do not happen in the countries you listed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure you know that the root of the word discriminate has a good meaning. For example, "a person of discriminating tastes" etc. In that sense it is simply a matter of selecting one over the other. This is normal behavior whether we are talking about cars, wine or prospective marriage partners. Discrimination encourages progress.

I can't say I don't like it when I get special treatment for being white.

See, and that bothers more than when I get treated poorly for being a gaijin. The latter I can understand, the former just mystifies me.

But I hope you aren't one of those people who thinks that since something cannot be done absolutely, that we should just not do anything about it at all.

Well obviously all citizens should have the same rights under the law. Non-citizens should expect to be treated differently imo. Furthermore, I do believe that its a fallacy to present the idea that "everyone is equal". Human beings may be equal from the standpoint of the value of their human life, but that's about where the equality ends imo.

I'm not seeing it. Where is the claim that these things do not happen in the countries you listed?

Semantics. In stating that "this is the root problem with Japanese society, jersey sets it apart from other societies. Were it not so, he would have said "this is one problem with human social interaction". That I might actually agree with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Discrimination encourages progress.

Racial discrimination encourages progress. Right.

Well obviously all citizens should have the same rights under the law. Non-citizens should expect to be treated differently imo.

To some degree, I agree. Non-citizens should not be able to run for progress, and I understand the reasoning behind not letting non-citizens be police. But because some differences are ok does not mean that all differences should be ok.

Semantics. In stating that "this is the root problem with Japanese society, jersey sets it apart from other societies

That's your interpretation. But not every statement about Japan is a comparison with every other country. If I say 'Iraq is a cesspit filled with terrorists', this does not mean that every other country in the world is not a cesspit filled with terrorists, as we all know there are other countries in the world filled with terrorists. Using the name of the country narrows down which country he is talking about, it doesn't infer a comparison with every other country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Racial discrimination encourages progress. Right.

I said discrimination, not racial discrimination. Discrimination, in the pure sense, encourages progress. I don't see how you could deny that. If people didn't consciously prefer superior things over inferior things then we'd all still be wearing animal skins and living in caves. Evolution is a discriminatory process - its what "survival of the fittest" means. Even the Earth discriminates against the weak and inferior. I submit that Japanese free citizens have every right to choose not to marry a gaijin based on their own preferences and their own relative standards of superior/inferior.

That's your interpretation.

Fair enough. I may have been unduly influenced by jersey's known penchant for running down Japan. I withdraw the point.

Anyway, thanks for the exchange, the first civil one I think I've ever had with you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I said discrimination, not racial discrimination. Discrimination, in the pure sense, encourages progress. I don't see how you could deny that.

It's more the blanket comment I disagreed with. Discrimination in all its forms does not encourage progress, but some discrimination does.

I submit that Japanese free citizens have every right to choose not to marry a gaijin based on their own preferences and their own relative standards of superior/inferior.

I agree with this fully. Trying to legislate marriage, or even get involved in someone else's choice is a foolish move.

I may have been unduly influenced by jersey's known penchant for running down Japan. I withdraw the point.

Great! Unexpected on this site. I applaud your... whatever you call that.

Anyway, thanks for the exchange, the first civil one I think I've ever had with you.

:)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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