Boss IDs worker as South Korean


A Shizuoka resident in his 40s who goes by a Japanese name has sued his employer for invading his privacy and violating his rights by revealing to his colleagues that he is a South Korean resident and demanding that he use his Korean name.

The man, a South Korean national who was born and raised in Japan, filed the lawsuit demanding compensation of ¥3 million at the Shizuoka District Court. The defendant declined comment. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant have been identified.

The man claims he has always used his Japanese name and did not tell others he holds South Korean nationality.

But from last November to January, his boss repeatedly said in front of other colleagues that the man should use his South Korean name. In response, the man refused to do so and wished to use his Japanese name as usual practice.

Despite the man’s refusal, the company president revealed his nationality to all other employees in April.

Many South Koreans had no choice but to live in Japan for various reasons and have faced discrimination, the plaintiff and his attorneys said, stressing a decision on whether to use one’s real name should be left to the individual.

The plaintiff said he is seeking compensation for the humiliation, harassment and emotional distress caused when the president pushed him to use his real name.

  • GMainwaring

    “Many South Koreans had no choice but to live in Japan”

    Bull hockey. They are not slave laborers, they are free to live where they wish. They choose to live in Japan.

    “and have faced discrimination”

    Interesting the lawyers had to use the past tense to explain why their client should be allowed to do something now…

    “a decision on whether to use one’s real name should be left to the individual.”

    Perhaps down at the pub, yes. But not in a legal or work setting. Should I be able to insist my employer and coworkers, or all the bureaucrats at city hall, address me as Shinzo Abe at all times?

  • Kettle Roast

    Dear GMainwaring,
    Koreans born in Japan can take on a Japanese name and surname, however the government doesn’t allow them to have Japanese Citizenship because they are enthically Koreans.
    This like saying only Native American can get a US Passport since they were in America first, and all the rest have to get a Passport stating which part of Europe or South America or Africa they are from.
    Do you understand now? The man is pissed because he was born and raised in Japan and they violated his privacy because he doesn’t care about his ethnicity, he just wants to live in the country that he was born in.
    Now GMainwaring, what country were your grandparents from??