The Chongryon: Japan’s Continued Colonial-Style Discrimination against Koreans

Almost the whole world, except a very few populations around the globe, seem DO NOT KNOW anything about the consecutive JAPANESE governments’ CONTINUED but HIDDEN COLONIAL Discrimination against certain groups of Korean People for more than 60 years. 

Many Koreans themselves both in the South and about 8 million Koreans in overseas’ communities around the world have little or nbo knowledge of this process.

In fact, neither do the Japanese know about their own governments’ continued discrimination against Koreans, particularly against about Half a million Koreans (in 1940s and 50s), called “Chongryon” living in Japan. 

The Chongryon means a nationwide organization in Japan which has been persistently nationalistic, i.e., anti-imperialistic, self-determined and independent Korean organization which has identified their national affiliation not with Japan but Korea, particularly with the North. 

The history of this discrimination also applies to the 25 million population of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.[i] 

More specifically it applies to about 750,000 Koreans living in Japan.  


According to the PREAMBLE and most of the 30 ARTICLES of the UN Human Rights Declaration, the consecutive governments’ continued but hidden racial discriminations against Koreans in Japan should have been condemned as flagrant violations of the UN Human Rights Declaration! 

By anyone’s open-minded observations and objective readings on the history of Chongryon people, those racially-motivated, legally-forced, and systematically-institutionalized discrimination policies by Japanese governments are similar to those of Jpan’s half century colonial rule of Korea.  

For over 60 years, Japanese governments have particularly violated the UN Human Rights Declaration Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 15, 19 and 20. 

However, what stands out more specifically is the violation of Article 26 pertaining to the Right to Education.[ii]

These violations of funamental human righs have affected several hundred thousand  Chongryon Koreans who have had to pay an extremely high price, Several generations Chongryon Koreans are the vitims of these discriminatory policies instrumented by the Japanese “post-imperial” government  

What we are dealing with is outright racism directed against the Chongryon Koreans. 

The Japanese government has excluded Korean students from receiving educational (financial) support which is granted to all other schools in Japan except those Chongryon-affiliated schools. 

Again this is a flagrant violation of one of the most fundamental human rights regarding the “Right to Education.”  

The former colonial state Japan has repeatedly discriminated against a formerly colonized population which was brought by force either to Japan or to imperialist’s loosing battle grounds, to their military factories (such as Mitsubishi), to their mines, or even to their infamous “military brothels” as “forcibly-conscripted imperial army (Korean) soldiers,” “slave laborers” or “military sex slaves” until the demise of Imperial Japan in mid 1945.

As mentioned above, the world seems to have assumed those heinous colonial crimes committed by Japan more than a half century ago ceased at the end of Imperial Japan in August 1945. 

The “high price” the Chongryon Koreans have had to pay must be understood. It constitutes a Imperial Japan’s colonial crimes not only against Koreans for almost a half century back also against many Chinese and other East Asian populations in the 1930s and 40s. 

Dr. Kiyul Chung who is Editor-in-chief at the 4th Media is also a Visiting Professor at School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He is also a political commentator at CCTV-9.


[i] Its acronym should be “DPRK.” However, it’s been known hitherto as “North Korea” in most parts of the world. This name North Korea, together with South Korea, denotes and further implies the continued DIVISION of Korean peninsula. So the whole population in north and many self-determined reunification-oriented population in south don’t use these divisive names.

[ii] UN Human Rights Declaration Article 26:

•(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

•(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

•(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children

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Articles by: Dr. Kiyul Chung

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