TITLE

Race to Subversion: Nationality and Koreans in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952

AUTHOR(S)
NANTAIS, SIMON
PUB. DATE
November 2015
SOURCE
Diplomatic History;Nov2015, Vol. 39 Issue 5, p819
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article challenges many long-held assumptions about the treatment of Koreans in Occupied Japan (1945–1952). The central premise of this article is that scholars have treated “race” and “nationality” as equivalent categories of analysis. During the Occupation, Koreans were legally Japanese nationals, notwithstanding their Korean ethnicity or their desire to be recognized as “Korean nationals.” Nationality is an appropriate lens through which to study Koreans in Japan since they were legally Japanese nationals, but both North Korea and South Korea claimed them as their own nationals. By using the Koreans’ Japanese nationality as the unchanging fact, this article examines how race, nationality, and ideology intersected into the early Cold War in Asia to deal with a Korean population in Japan that was overwhelmingly in support of North Korea’s Kim Il-sung. This article brings to light a secret Cold War plan to deport tens of thousands of leftist Koreans from Japan during the Korean War to United Nations prisoner-of-war camps in South Korea. Since Koreans in Japan could not be legally deported from their ostensible home country (Japan), Occupation authorities devised a rationale that would overcome legal barriers.
ACCESSION #
110350645

 

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