Sunday, May 21, 2006

Now wait just a gosh darned minute here...

Mirroring the rift that has been running deep in South Korea, some pro-Seoul residents of Japan are rejecting the détente forged between Japan's South-oriented and North-oriented associations of Korean residents.

The Niigata prefectural chapter of the Korean Residents Union in Japan (the pro-Seoul Mindan) is saying it will not accept the reconciliation its head office in Tokyo had forged with Chongryon, the pro-Pyongyang Korean residents group, until North Korea resolves the abduction issue.

This is not the first time the kidnapee issue has been raised by the Niigata prefectural chapter of Mindan. In 2004, they ceased socializing with Chongryon (the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, also known in Japanese as Chōsen Sōren), citing the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents.

An official said the chapter had no intention to associate with Chongryon in the future, but would not oppose the head office's policy to reconcile with Chongryon.

Megumi Yokota, the poster child for the kidnap victims and their families, was abducted from a beach in the northern Japanese prefecture of Niigata, and Mindan officials say that makes resolving differences with Chongryon very unpalatable and difficult. Mindan officials in Niigata said their decision "was made by taking into consideration coexistence with Japanese society."

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