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In Japan, Anger Toward North Korea Intensifies

Asia: Police suspect Communists in kidnappings. People ask if dictatorship is bolstered from their shores.


One man said he had donated $10,000 a year to Chosensoren for decades. He stopped six years ago after concluding that the group was "a front office for North Korea" and that the North's Communist economic system was doomed. Still, he continues to do an unprofitable trading business with North Korea so that he can visit and hand his siblings the yen they require to keep from starving.

The man's children went to Chosensoren schools, the only option in Japan for parents who want their children to have a Korean education. But his grandchildren are in Japanese schools and do not speak Korean. "When I die, my children will become Japanese citizens" and abandon their father's relatives and their ethnic identity, he said.

Chang, the defector from Natongan, said that Pyongyang radio has branded him a traitor and that he has been under Japanese police protection since publishing his story in December. He claims he was not personally involved in the abductions and that the 14 other members of Natongan are no longer active.

Chang said his deepest regret is that he and his comrades set out to fight prejudice and injustice against Koreans in Japan but succeeded only in sowing more distrust.

"Before the war, Koreans were discriminated against, but now we are creating reasons to be despised once again," Chang said. "Anti-Japanese education [in Chosensoren schools], kidnapping, spying, illegal transfer of money. . . . There will certainly be a backlash. It is unavoidable."

Special correspondent Yasuhiro Idei contributed to this report.

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