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Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 11:30 - 12:30

*Time has been changed.
Korean Schools' Funding as a Human Rights Issue {readmore}
Kim Wooki
Secretariat staff, Human Rights Association for Korean Residents in Japan
Megumi Komori
Under-Secretary General,
the International Movement Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination (IMADR)
Satoko Kitamura
Lawyer
Language :The speech and Q&A will be in English

 No group in Japan is more aware of the fallout from diplomatic tensions between Tokyo and Pyongyang than ethnic Korean residents who can trace their roots back to what is now the northern half of the Korean peninsula.

 For decades, members of Japan's estimated 600,000-strong ethnic Korean community, with ties to both North and South Korea, have attempted to preserve their identity in the face of widespread discrimination. Until now, their most effective tool has been education.

 Chongryon, the pro-Pyongyang association of Korean residents, runs about 70 schools nationwide. But now, as Japan awaits the results of a new North Korean investigation into the fate of several missing abductees, members of the Korean community say they are being unfairly penalised by administrations in Tokyo keen to be seen to be taking a hardline against the abductions and Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

 Local governments in nine prefectures, including Kanagawa and Chiba, have withdrawn subsidies in the past few years; the schools were also excluded from a tuition fee waiver programme introduced in 2010, leaving them struggling to stay afloat. Teachers, parents and other members of the Korean community say they are being unfairly singled out for political reasons. Along with the rise in hate speech, they say the attack on their children's right to a free education is a human rights issue worthy of international attention.

 In August, members of the Human Rights Association for Korean Residents in Japan were among a delegation that presented their case to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva. Two leading campaigners will visit the FCCJ to discuss the education issue, their visit to the UN and how they hope to persuade Japanese local authorities to reconsider their position on Korean schools’ funding.

 Kim Wooki, is on the secretariat of the staff at the human rights association and was among the delegation in Geneva. Joining her will be Megumi Komori, under-secretary general of the International Movement Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Racism, who helped coordinate the NGO delegation to the UN.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.                  

Professional Activities Committee

Sep 17 14 PC Kim Wooki Megumi Komori  Satoko Kitamura by Aoki013Sep 17 14 PC Kim Wooki Megumi Komori  Satoko Kitamura by Aoki029Sep 17 14 PC Kim Wooki Megumi Komori  Satoko Kitamura by Aoki010

 Satoko Kitamura                           Kim Wooki                                  Megumi Komori

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