North Korean defectors have summoned Kim Jong-un to a Tokyo court, demanding damages for making false promises of “paradise on Earth” repatriation.
On Thursday, the reclusive nation’s leader was summoned symbolically to a Tokyo court over a relocation scheme that saw over 90,000 people transfer from Japan to North Korea between 1959 and 1984, in what the plaintiffs claim “state kidnapping.”
North Korea is accused by the organisation of misleading relocators by “false advertising” for a region where “enjoying human rights was often impossible.”
Hundreds of thousands of Koreans were forced to come to Japan as laborers in mines and industries during Tokyo’s colonization of the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang, on the other hand, initiated a plan to return its foreign people home following the terrible Korean war (1950-53) to account for the number of employees slain.
The Japanese government was also supportive of the program at the time, hailing it as a method to assist Koreans who were having difficulty settling in Japan and assisting in the migration of people to the north.
Five persons who were affected by the repatriation scheme and later defected from Pyongyang are suing Kim Jong-un for 100 million yen ($880,000) each in compensation. They were lured in with promises of free health care, education, and jobs in a place peddling the fantasy of a “paradise on earth.”
Kenji Fukuda, the lawyer representing the defectors, said at a briefing last month that he does not expect North Korea to pay the damages, but that he hopes it will pave the road for the Japanese government to negotiate with the country and normalize diplomatic relations.
He also expressed optimism that “this case will bring political pressure to bear on Pyongyang, forcing Pyongyang to let those still in the North to escape.”
If you enjoyed this article, please tell a friend about it!