At the end of July, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled the decision “legitimate” to exclude Korean schools from tuition-free high school list when the lawsuit was brought by the officials concerned with the Korean school in Hiroshima where they had demanded the withdrawal of that decision while lodging a claim.
With this ruling, the lawsuits filed since 2013 by the officials concerned with the Korean schools in five regions of the country including Hiroshima, were all dismissed.
Yet another wrongful judgement of this sort by the Japanese judicial authorities is the display of extreme national chauvinism and human rights violation that infringe on and discriminate against the right to national education of Korean residents in Japan.
In retrospect, the successive governments of Japan have clamped restrictions on Korean residents in Japan in every way from the very beginning of their national education. They did not cease inventing and enforcing all kinds of discriminatory measures against Korean residents in Japan while victimizing the Koreans to get through their own political crisis.
When the Abe administration was in office, the act of obliterating national education and of national discrimination went to extremes overstepping the bounds – educational grants for Korean schools were cut off; the Korean schools were excluded from the tuition-free high school list; and the infant classes of Korean schools were also excluded from the “free infant education and child upbringing” system.
In view of the historical background of the origination of Korean residents in Japan – direct victims of Japanese colonial rule and their descendants – and in the light of human ethics and morality as well, Japan can in no way abdicate the responsibility of providing them with due humanitarian treatment, democratic national rights and legal protection, i.e. right to life and right to education.
Equal treatment and respect for all without distinction as to sex, language or religion – this constitutes an important principle for guaranteeing human rights stipulated in the UN Charter and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, etc.
The Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted in the General Conference of UNESCO in December, 1960, stipulates that each State Party ensures to foreign nationals within its territory equality of educational opportunity as its own nationals and that it has the duty to proscribe any form of discrimination in treatment on the grounds of nationality in the fields of getting necessary permission and affording convenience in education.
Sustainable Development Goal 2030 adopted by the UN in 2015 also set forth as a priority in education sector, the attainment of comprehensive, equal and quality education.
In particular, the right to national education of the Korean residents in Japan is in complete accord with the domestic laws and regulations of Japan as well as international laws such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Japan had assented.
Moreover, Korean residents in Japan are in the same liability for tax payment like Japanese citizens. This being the situation, such an act of discrimination cannot be termed other than the outcome of Japanese policy of hostility towards the DPRK.
National chauvinism, the centuries-old perpetration by Japanese authorities, is a cause for considerable consternation of the world. Japan is well-advised to redress the situation immediately lest it pay dearly for that.
Kim Sol Hwa
Researcher of the Institute for Studies of Japan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK