Around one million Koreans are permanent residents or citizens of Japan. Mainly distributed in the major industrial and economic centres of the country, the largest number of Koreans live in Osaka, followed by Tokyo and Hyogo prefectures. Like their counterparts in North and South Korea, most Koreans in Japan speak Korean, although younger Koreans who are second or third generation increasingly speak only Japanese.
The term ‘Zainichi’ Koreans (from the Japanese word meaning ‘staying in Japan’) is sometimes used to describe those who are permanent residents of Japan but who have not acquired Japanese citizenship. ‘ The author is Kim Myung-ja, a Teaching Fellow in Northeast Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She completed her PhD at the Politics Department at SOAS where she received the Meiji Jingu Scholarship Award. Her MA in International Affairs was completed at the School of International Service, American University in Washington DC. She has been a guest lecturer in Korean Studies at Tübingen University and has published in the Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs. She founded and was President of the NGO, World Tonpo Network, Tokyo, an organization that seeks the peaceful unification of North and South Korea.
The book Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan – Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building, written by Kim Myung-ja was published by I.B. Tauris in 2017. Excluding the preface, the conclusion and additional elements, the book consists of a classic structure: five chapters, where the first chapter is theoretical, and the other are presented in a chronological order.
The chapter one is related to the Alliance cohesion, Diaspora and Nation-Building Policies. The author looks at how diaspora’s identity affects its host state’s behavior when both host and home states are classified as minor or middle powers as opposed to major powers.
Chapter two describes the Korean Zainichi, defining them as being Korean nationals who moved to the Japanese territories during the colonial period, secondly as people who moved to the Japanese territories during the colonial period and thirdly as Korean nationals who remained in Japan after the end of World War II (p. 51).
Chapter three discusses the exclusionary Policies towards the Zainichi in the Post-World War II Era (1945-1964). The author develops the impact of the Korean War over the US-ROK alliance (p. 79) and the US-Japan Alliance (p. 89).
The permanent character of the Korean migration to Japan became a major problem which is analyzed in chapter four. Finally, the fifth chapter discusses whether the Alliance Cohesion still matter I the period starting after 1990. The author justifies the thesis that a weak alliance cohesion allows a host country to accommodate a diaspora supported by enemy allied homeland in order to expand its own autonomy under an asymmetric alliance. The author also agreed with the thesis presented by Mylonas, where a host state is likely to exclude a non-core group when the state has revisionist aims and an enemy is supporting the non-core group.
Still, for such a concentrated book — little less than three hundred pages –, this book provides a good deal of ground related to the adaptation of the Korean diaspora to the Japanese ground and within this society. As a kind of precursor (few books related to the Korean Zainichi were published in western languages), its content provides an original approach over the impact of international alliances on the internal policy of a considered country. In spite of the clarity of the book and its valuable knowledge. I do have some minor remarks that I want to point out below.
Firstly, there is a lack of statistical data, we don’t have any information about the leadership of Chonggryon (such as the conservatist Han Dok-su) and Midan organizations. In spite of data provided on page 197, there are no information concerning for instance a listing of Korean schools in Japan which may perturbate the junior reader. Being also dealing with North Korean issues, I regret that the author omitted to mention that Ko Yong-hui, the mother of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, was born in Osaka. I also regret a lack of pictures which is maybe due to the Publisher requirements. We do have a map of the Korean Peninsula (p. 75), but not social map of Japan, which could indicate where Koreans Zainichi live in Japan. I also regret a lack of information concerning the place of (North) Korean companies in Japan and the economic cooperation between Japanese (such as Mitsubishi) and North Korean trade companies.
I also noted that the large bibliography doesn’t include any books or publications in Korean, or any Zainichi Korean journals such as the Chosun Sinbo Ilbo, no updated data related to the Naturalization of Korean in Japan (p. 157), no information about the role of Junya Koizumi (the father of the former PM Junichiro Koizumiin the repatriation project of Koreans to North Korea or the book of Kang Chol-hwan, a member of a Zainichi Korean family. It’s also not obvious to me, that both Chonggryon and Mindan include people from both Koreas.
There are also some interesting facts which are not usually mentioned. For instance, the Japanese financial assistance to South Korea after the 1997 financial crisis. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation signed a memorandum with Korean authorities and provided USD 3 bln of loans. Page 183, there is probably a typo mistake concerning the Pyongyang’s trade with China (82%, and not 28% as stipulated).
In spite of the previously mentioned remarks, I definitely consider that this book is a wonderful addition to the field of Japanese Minorities studies, I would suggest the author make a second edition by updating data and discussing more about the situation of Chonggryon members in the framework of the potential stop of the Nuclear Program of North Korea. I would also suggest to the researcher to incorporate a chapter related to the notion of Zainichi Koreans in the North and South Korean press.
I also think that the author has prepared a brilliant book, and I would like to highly recommend this book as one of the best ways to understand the situation of Zainichi Koreans in Japan.
Kim Myung-ja. Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan – Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building, London: I.B Tauris, 2017, 304 pages. ISBN: 978-1784537678
It’s a great pleasure for the Boym Institute to organize an open meeting with dr Uki Maroshek who founded the betzavta method. Betzavta is taught across the globe at the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Jerusalem as well as in other institutions in Europe and the Middle East.
As large parts of the world are gradually becoming habituated to living in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, global attention has turned to restarting the economy. One of the most consequential impacts of these efforts will be that on our climate policies and environmental conditions.Dawid Juraszek
Indonesia is the largest Muslim democracy in the world. Approximately 88% of the population in Indonesia declares Islamic religion, but in spite of this significant dominance, Indonesia is not a religious state.Anna Grzywacz
Uzbekistan, under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has embarked on a path of reform. Almost daily, the media there report on new initiatives and projects. It is no coincidence that in December 2019 The Economist awarded Uzbekistan the country of the year title.Magdalena Sobańska-Cwalina
In recent years, India has been the fastest growing among the major countries' economies in the world. (...) In the coming decades, the Subcontinent's largest country may remain one of the pillars of global economic growth. This is one of the reasons why the country is already the most popular destination for polish foreign investment in the Asian-Pacific region.
At the Boym Institute we are coming out with new initiative: #WomeninBoym, which aims to show the activity of this – often less visible – half of society. We will write about what women think, say and do. We will also publicise what women are researching and writing.
Book review of "Unveiling the North Korean economy", written by Kim Byung-yeon and published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.B. Tauris in 2017.Nicolas Levi
The course will be taught via interactive workshops, employing the Adam Institute’s signature “Betzavta – the Adam Institute’s Facilitation Method“, taught by its creator, Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman. The award-winning “Betzavta” method is rooted in an empirical approach to civic education, interpersonal communication and conflict resolution.
It is important to contribute to the understanding of what the New Silk Road can mean in economic, political, leadership and cultural terms for the European countries involved. This analysis should reveal the practical consequences of the Belt and Road Initiative for Europe in the case of Poland and Germany, as well as their respective social effects.
We cordially invite you to a workshop session “Liberalism vs authoritarianism: political ideas in Singapore and China”. The workshop is organized by Patrycja Pendrakowska and Maria Kądzielska at the Department of Philosophy, University of Warsaw on ZOOM.
On 10 January, early presidential elections were held in Kyrgyzstan, following the resignation of the incumbent, President Zheenbekov. The atmosphere in which the vote was conducted remained tense. This had been the case since the results of the October elections were announced, in which the opposition grouping failed to win a single parliamentary seat.Jerzy Olędzki
The countries of the Indochinese Peninsula are struggling with the problem of the deteriorating state of the Mekong River, which scientists and publicists are increasingly boldly describing as an ecological disaster. Alongside climate change, existing hydropower plants and those under construction in China and Laos are among the greatest threats. These ventures deepen the regional dispute over a river crucial to communities of tens of millions of people.Jakub Kamiński
The 1950 Indian Constitution introduced the principle of equal opportunities for gender equality, which grants women and men the same rights in family life, political, social and economic life. So why is it that nearly forty per cent of girls aged 15-17 do not attend school, the custom of dowry giving is still cultivated and prenatal sex selection is still a huge social problem?Magdalena Rybczyńska
Interview with Michał Wójcik - Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Marine Economy and Inland Navigation (DWM MGMiŻŚ). In the Ministry, he is leading the Coordinating Secretariat for Maritime Issues , monitoring the cooperation of Central and Eastern European States with China.Krzysztof Zalewski
Due to the spread of coronavirus, the following workplace recommendations have been issued by the Ministry of Development, in cooperation with the Chief Sanitary Inspector. We also invite you to read article about general information and recommendations for entrepreneurs.
We would like to inform, that Observer Research Foundation has published article of Krzysztof Zalewski - the Boym Institute Analyst, Chairman of the Board and Editor of the “Tydzień w Azji” weekly.Krzysztof Zalewski
Democracy in Israel is in crisis. And if we don't educate for democracy, it just won't exist. It's that simple. The actual teaching of democracy, on the other hand, isn't so simple. It requires experience, theoretical and practical knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to our ever-changing reality.
The Social Credit System currently being rolled out in China may pose significant organisational and legal challenges for both foreign and Polish entities operating in China. We invite you to read our report, prepared in cooperation between the Boym Institute and Kochanski & Partners.Patrycja Pendrakowska
The scale of assistance provided to medics by the Vietnamese community during the 2020 pandemic inspires admiration and gratitude. It stems from the sense of belonging to Poland and deeply rooted in the culture order to help those in need and repay the debt incurred at the time when they themselves needed such help.Ewa Grabowska
We would like to inform, that 9DASHLINE has published article of Paweł Behrendt - the Boym Institute Analyst, in which he wrote about history of the South China Sea dispute over the 20th century.Paweł Behrendt
Kochański & Partners and the Boym Institute engaged in delivering information about latest after-effects of COVID-19 pandemia, which has begun to spread in Poland during the past days.
North Korea is considered as a secretive state, but, paradoxically, the country is developing last trend technologies. With prohibitions restricting the flow of money, the country is turning to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to finance their programs, instead of coming under new pressure.Nicolas Levi
Polish and Polish-founded companies are already on the largest continent in sectors such as: IT, educational technology, finance, marketing, e-commerce and space. Despite this, the potential lying dormant in the domestic innovation sector seems to be underutilized.
On the initiative of the Vietnamese community in Poland and Vietnamese graduates of Polish universities, our country received support from Vietnam - a country that deals with the threat posed by Sars-Cov-2 very effectively.Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz