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Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

Y.I. Kim: Could the Reunification of Korea Begin in Japan?

It is reported that there are about 600,000 Korean residents in Japan, but some say it is as many as two million. Unlike other Koreans living abroad, most of those residing in Japan did not choose to move there voluntarily to study or live. The history of Koreans forced to migrate to Japan dates back to the Japanese colonization of Korea. It is one of human rights violation, filled with discrimination, dishonor and oppression.

Moreover, the Korean people living in Japan are also divided among themselves, just as their mother nation has been divided. For 60 years, they have lived in confrontation and conflict, divided between the pro-South Federation of Korean Residents in Japan (Mindan) and the pro-North Korean Residents’ League in Japan (pronounced “Chosen Soren” in Japanese and “Chochongryon” in South Korea; the Koreans in Japan abbreviate the name to “Chongryon”). These two groups differ in ideology and doctrine.  

The division among Koreans living in Japan is a result of the division of the nation itself, and therefore harmony among them would be the model for the unification of the fatherland. The home nation is divided by a national boundary, but the Koreans in Japan are divided even though there is no boundary separating them. They are free to meet and hold dialogues if they choose to do so. That is why if they could come together in harmony they would show the possibility that their home nation could also break down the national boundary and unite. However, if the Federation of Korean Residents in Japan ever hosts an event, the pro-North Korean Residents’ League in Japan refuses to cooperate, and vice versa, regardless of the reason. In this manner, they have pitted and struggled against each other through the 60 years of the Cold War era.

In order to bring them together in harmony, Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace began holding seminars in November 2003 to promote peace and unity between the two groups. The seminars focused on the teachings of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and people from both sides attended the seminars. They shook hands with each other, ate together, held conversations, and even bathed together. Overall, this provided opportunities for them to become more united.

Rev. Yoo Jeong-ok [known in Japan as Yoo Dae-haeng], the sponsor of the seminar, gave lectures all day long and into the night, speaking from the bottom of his heart. His lips split open from giving such passionate lectures centered on the heart of God. All those present at the lectures could see true love in practice for themselves. They came to trust the sponsors, because they saw the sacrifices they made for the sake of the Korean residents.

As these leaders’ seminars were held, Korean leaders in Japan came increasingly to hope for a national network through which everyone could unite. On July 4, 2004, the Federation for Peace and Unity was founded in Tokyo under the guidance of Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. They began working with the commitment to be in the vanguard of bringing about harmony among the Korean residents in Japan and ultimately the unification of the Fatherland.

In November 2004, a thousand Korean residents in Japan were invited to Korea to participate in  a rally for peace and unity. Some of the rally participants from the pro-North Korean Residents’ League in Japan were visiting Korea for the first time.

After the conclusion of the conference in Seoul and the rally for unification at Imjin-gak near the border of North and South Korea, participants expressed admiration for the passion and accomplishments of Dr. and Mrs. Moon in their work for the unification of their fatherland.

The work to inspire Korean residents in Japan to establish bonds of heart with one another and unite as one in harmony is being carried out through the Federation for Peace and Unity. In each region, rallies for the inauguration of regional headquarters were held, and outreach is continuous. Through unconditionally loving our brothers in Japan we will be able to fulfill our dreams of establishing a united society of our brethren and a united fatherland.

Source: Today’s World, January 2005

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