Hashimoto’s suggestions – Tuition fees of Chousen-schools should be free?

     Since April 2010, tuition fees of high schools in Japan have started to be assisted by the government, in order to help those who want to learn. For public high school students, all of tuition fees are paid by government thus they don’t have to pay at all. For private high school students, about 120,000 yen is paid for schools by government, and they pay rest of it. Students in severe economic hardship can be provided maximum 240,000 yen for private high schools. This is a great decision. My sister has high school education for free, it’s absolutely nice.

     However there is an exception. Chousen-schools are excluded from this decision because Chousen-schools are not “normal” high school that the ministry of education defines (Ichijoukou). Chousen-schools, they don’t adopt the national curriculum of Japan and they have different package of education. The problem is that they are suspected to tell children how Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are great, Juche-sasang (an ideology of DPRK), and some distorted information. In fact, you can find the portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in the classroom and their textbooks are totally different from the ones that Japanese have. Some people regard connection with Chousen-Souren as a problem because Chousen-Souren is suspected to have something to do with kidnapping, illegal remittance (sending money illegally), spying, and other illegal activities. In addition, DPRK attacked South Korea in November 2010. Democratic Party of Japan, the party in power, was confused by this incident and yet reach conclusion; assist Chousen-school students or not.

     For all these reasons, there are number of people who are against assistance for Chousen-schools. Tooru Hashimoto, the Governor of Osaka prefecture made these following four suggestions to Chousen-schools if they want to be subsidized; 1)adopt Japanese curriculum, 2)enhance transparency in financial affair, 3)keep away from Chousen-Souren, 4)take away the portraits of Kim family. In other words he showed them two choices like freedom of ideology or money, and he told them they couldn’t have both of them.

     In my opinion, his argument is clear and I agree with him. If Chousen-schools want to keep their own education, they should do it all by themselves. If they adopt Japanese curriculum, they should be funded as other schools. Some people criticize him like education should be free from all political affairs, just support who wants to learn. But, budget is limited. Japanese government cannot spend on what doesn’t benefit Japanese people. What do you think about this issue? Is Hashimoto discriminating Chousen-schools? Let me hear your opinion.

p.s. I wonder how to call the chousen-koukyuu-gakkou. When I googled how they are called generally, I found these following names like North Korea funded school, pro-Pyongyang high school, and something. But finally I decided simply call them “Chousen-schools”

by Anonymous

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