Ri Suk Gyong
Japan’s national chauvinism has reached the extremes.
Shortly ago, the Japanese authorities excluded the students of Korean University from the “emergency subsidy program for students” which allegedly aids students amid the global pandemic crisis.
Not only national and private universities and colleges in Japan but also institutions for teaching Japanese and branch schools of foreign universities in Japan are all included in the aid list, except for Korean University. This is, indeed, a mean and base step.
This step follows the exclusion of the Korean students and children from the tuition-free program for senior high schools and the “program for free education and upbringing of children.” Such unethical national discrimination is utterly intolerable as it is an extension of Japan’s deep-rooted hostile policy towards the DPRK.
Such a cruel step taken by the narrow-minded island politicians has shocked the international community and even Japanese citizens deem it shameful.
Representatives of Japanese university professors, terming the authorities’ step “intentional politically-motivated exclusion”, issued a statement calling for impartial support.
This was approved by hundreds of university professors.
The Japanese reactionaries’ discrimination and persecution against the overall educational system for Koreans in Japan, ranging from kindergartens to university, are fascist violence aimed at preventing the younger generations from carrying forward the movement of Koreans in Japan by stamping out the democratic national education of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon).
The Japanese reactionaries’ moves to stamp out the national education, which have lasted until today since Japan’s defeat, are getting evermore nasty and cruel with each passing day.
When looking back upon the past, one can realize that the Korean schools in Japan have been a pleasure and hope of the Korean community in Japan. The Koreans in Japan, who had never been schooled under the rule by the Japanese imperialists, sweated blood to build the schools despite their extreme destitution under the slogan “Let those with money donate money, those with strength give strength, those with knowledge contribute knowledge to build our school!” in order to school their children.
Nonetheless, the Japanese reactionaries didn’t recognize the establishment of the Korean schools and ran amuck to nip in the bud the development of the national education. In 1949, they dissolved 348 Korean schools by enforcing the “law on closure of Korean schools.”
Afterwards, they, terming the teaching of the Korean language, history, geography and cultural traditions as “extraterritoriality” and “anti-Japanese education running counter to Japan’s interests,” forced assimilation education on Koreans in Japan and pursued cruel national discrimination against the Korean students.
The policy of discriminating against the children of Koreans studying at Korean schools and in favor of those at Japanese schools and not acknowledging the academic careers of graduates of Korean schools is still in force in Japan.
The Japanese authorities stopped providing subsidies for the Korean schools for no reason though Koreans in Japan are obliged to pay taxes like the Japanese. They have imposed taxes on the donations offered by Koreans to Korean schools in a bid to disturb their efforts for bettering the educational environment and material foundations of the Korean schools.
The Japanese reactionaries don’t hesitate to put pressure on the Korean schools, saying that the Korean schools can’t receive support as they are influenced by the DPRK in terms of ideology and operation.
Their despicable moves to obliterate the national education century after century have inflicted untold damage on the Koreans in Japan.
The Koreans in Japan are the direct victims of the Japanese imperialists’ colonial rule and their descendents. So, the Japanese authorities have legal and humanitarian responsibilities for guaranteeing their human rights, encouraging the development of their national education and protecting the students of the Korean schools in view of history and morality.
Notably, the Koreans’ right to national education is in full compliance with the World Declaration on Human Rights, the international convention on economic, social and cultural rights and other international laws accepted by Japan and its domestic laws.
Nevertheless, Japan persists in committing crimes against humanity and chauvinistic moves, antagonizing the DPRK, hamstringing the efforts of the Koreans for developing national education and trampling down the elementary human rights, while denying its due responsibilities.
Japan is just a criminal state which seeks to trample down the future of the movement of Koreans in Japan and do harm to the DPRK, far from dropping the foolish way of thinking to abuse the issue of education for attaining its disgusting diplomatic and political purposes.
Japan should immediately stop its despicable hostile policy toward the DPRK and moves to obliterate the national education, aware that the guaranteeing of the national education for the Korean students in Japan is a sincere approach to the proper atonement for its crime-woven past.
Ri Suk Gyong is a researcher of the Institute for Japan Studies