2. Chongryun's Activities in the Past 42 Years
For 42 years since its founding, Chongryun has rallied the citizens of the Republic
residing in Japan around the Government of the Republic and actively developed its work.
The history of Chongryun is at once a history of its defense of the national dignity and fundamental human rights of Korean residents in Japan. Chongryun developed for more than one year from 1958 a struggle to realize the repatriation of Koreans in Japan to their fatherland. A total of 2.3 million Korean compatriots participated in this struggle, until the first repatriation ship sailed from Niigata Port to the fatherland in December 1959.
Further, Chongryun developed a movement for free travel to and from the fatherland from 1963 to December 1965. In the meantime, a large scale march was staged from Osaka to Tokyo over a distance of 500 kilometers (from March to April 1964), and a total of several hundred thousand Koreans in Japan participated in the march. Thus, thanks to this struggle, Korean compatriots, who had been prohibited from going out from Japan, were able to visit and return from their fatherland, and today , are able to visit countries other than their fatherland (from June 1972).
Mangyongbong-92, a 9,393 tons-class passenger ship for Korean residents in Japan, carries out Korean compatriots to visit the DPRK. It accommodates 200 passengers and has a carrying capacity of up to 1,000 tons
Among the work of Chongryun the Korean compatriots in Japan are most proud of is its national education work . Immediately after Korea's liberation in 1945, first generation Korean residents in Japan (those who were born in Korea) built Korean schools and started education work in all parts of Japan in order to educate their children to be trustworthy Koreans. Since then , the Korean education of their sons and daughters has been continued for 52 years.
This education is democratic because it is based on democracy and reflects the will of the broad sections of Koreans in Japan; it is national in character, in that it is aimed at educating Korean children born and brought up in Japan and that therefore, importance is attached to subjects related to Korea, including their mother tongue, the Korean language and Korean history. Education by Korean residents in Japan of their sons and daughters in their mother tongue in the schools built by them is a legitimate work according well with the basic spirit of the World Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Human Rights Regulations. Koreans in Japan have made all-out efforts to develop democratic national education and to educate their sons and daughters well, overcoming adverse social and political conditions.
The Government of the Republic sent its first education aid funds and scholarships to Chongryun for the development of Koreans' national education in Japan in April 1957, and has since sent education aid funds and scholarships on 136 occasions, which totaled 43.5 billion yen (Japanese currency) by April 1997.
Korean children in Japan enjoy their school life at a Korean primary school in Japan. Chongryun runs 143 regular schools from primary schools from primary schools to a university in Japan.
Chongryun has consistently developed broad-based cultural activities including literary and other art activities since its founding in order to maintain the identity of Korean residents in Japan and to inherit and develop their own cultural traditions. Chongryun has also continued tenacious struggles to defend the human rights of Korean compatriots, their citizen rights, living rights and also their rights to do business in Japan. The Japanese authorities, who regard Koreans in Japan as potential criminals, revised the Alien Registration Ordinance to the detriment of the interests of Koreans in Japan (February 1947) and formulated the Immigration Control Ordinance (October 1951) and the Alien Registration Law (April 1952) to strengthen their suppressive measures against Korean residents in Japan. The Japanese authorities are keeping a strict watch on Koreans here on a day-to-day basis, fully utilizing these evil law and ordinance. Particularly, the Japanese authorities revised the Alien Registration Law in April 1955 to introduce a fingerprint system. In order to oppose this system, Korean residents in Japan have continued a tenacious movement to defend their democratic rights and fundamental human rights.
Furthermore, Chongryun has developed struggles to positively support the south Korean people in their democratization struggle and to promote the independent and peaceful reunification of their fatherland. Particularly, Chongryun has made efforts to strengthen national unity with Mindan-affiliated Korean compatriots (a pro-south Korean organization), overriding ideological differences, and differences of political beliefs and affiliations.
Chongryun is also making efforts to promote friendship with the Japanese people and peace loving forces of the world, and to strengthen international solidarity. Furthermore, it is developing international activities positively as a member of various international organizations.
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