Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il‘s reported annointing of his youngest son, offspring of a Japan-born dancer, as heir highlights a dark chapter in Japan’s history and a possible refugee headache if the regime collapses.
Apparent heir Kim Jong-un is said by South Korean media to be a son of Ko Young-hee, one of about 100,000 Koreans who returned to the North from Japan in the 1960s hoping to find a workers’ paradise. Many were brought to Japan as forced labour before World War Two and faced discrimination after the war.
No matter who succeeds the 67-year-old Kim, no one knows if the succession will go smoothly or whether the reclusive communist state will fall into chaos, sending streams of refugees to China, South Korea, Russia and Japan.
So here is the question: Is Japan ready in case North Korea collapses for reasons such as a power struggle as it choses Kim Jong-il’s successor or any rise of military confrontation in the future?