There are 120 North Korean-funded Korean schools in Japan. One hundred twenty, with 20,000 students. In Japan. They're "funded" by the North Korean government, by which I take it that they once were funded by the North Korean government, and now float on a part of the massive remittances by Koreans back to the North Korean government. Imagine if there was a large system of Mexican-funded private schools in the US - be pretty damn freaky, wouldn't it? North Korea is nine times as poor in comparison to Japan as Mexico is in comparison to the US (1:28 vs 9:37.6, according to the CIA Factbook, which is the coolest online resource, like, ever). Throw on top of that the idea that these hypothetical Mexican private schools taught la Voz de Aztlan ideology, and you get some idea of the sheer weirdness of this situation in Japan.
This is what you get when you run a racial-identity nation, where you force ethnic minorities into eternal group-identity ghettos. Those ghettos invariably slide downwards into a lowest-common-ideology threat to your polity. Foolishness.
Of course, that article is more upbeat - it's largely about how Korean parents' groups are de-ideologizing the NK schools, which makes sense when you consider that they now, effectively, fund these schools themselves. So my point about ghettoization is, perhaps, overdrawn. But the sheer fact of their existence freaks me out.
Via the Marmot Hole's Winds of Change Korea Wrapup.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
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