Korean Repatriation In Japan Essay

1928 Words8 Pages
Elena De Angelis
Multiethnic Japan
Prof. David Uva

Koreans in Japan – Post Second World War (1945~present)

After the war ended in 1945, the Japanese lost control of the Korean peninsula. The Koreans residing in Japan were free to go back to their homeland. The defeat of the Japanese meant liberation from Japanese colonial rule, and so the rebirth of national independence. Many Koreans went back with anticipation and expectation of a better life and future in Korea. Although it’s difficult to determine the precise number of Koreans who repatriated, the number estimated by the Ministry of Japan is around a million, just in the seven month period after the war, and only about 600,000 to 650,000 remained. However, as time went by, the number of Korean repatriates declined sharply.

Remaining in Japan
Koreans faced discouragement to repatriate because of several factors. Firstly, due to the massive number of Korean repatriates, SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers – General Douglas MacArthur) imposed limited restrictions on the amount of property that they were allowed to bring with them
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They are also denied many Japanese citizenship rights such as the right to vote, social welfare, health insurance and pensions. The Zainichi faced social discrimination, which made it difficult to get a job and become public employees since Japan only let Japanese nationals become public employees at that time. As a consequence, many Zainichi who couldn’t get a proper job, began to get involved in illegal jobs (illegal alcohol production, scrap recycling, and racketeering). On top of this, the Japanese real estate agents won’t let Zainichi rent houses and so many ended up living in places in poor conditions
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