Their numbers are somewhere in the 600,000 range and they are mostly concentrated in the urban areas of Tokyo and Osaka. More than one hundred years ago colonial Japan annexed the Korean peninsula. Then, for more than fifty years they kidnapped and enslaved Koreans and forced them to relocate to Japan. The Zainichi are the decedents of these former forced laborers, many of whom are third or fourth generation.
The video starts out following the fame and popularity of North Korean World Cup Striker Jong Tae-Se. He is a soccer star born and raised in Japan, drives a Hummer, and respects and remains loyal to the communist dictator, Kim Jong-Il. The piece gives us an excellent glimpse at the contradictions and complexities that face ethnic Koreans living in Japan. North Korea pumps millions of dollars and financial aid into their communities and schools. In response to this, Zainichi children never learn about the state atrocities committed by the communist regime and regard North Korea as their spiritual homeland and a place to respect and admire.
Assimilation into Japanese society is also near impossible, as the decedents of the ethnic Koreans brought to Japan do not automatically obtain Japanese citizenship. Japanese citizens also discriminate and resent the Zainichi because they fear that their tax dollars are either directly or indirectly supporting the communist regime that routinely threatens them and violates international law.
A fascinating watch: