Parents and teachers from the Tokyo Korean Junior and Senior High School urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Friday to prevent harassment of students attending schools that support North Korea.
After receiving a petition from a group of seven parents and teachers, Cabinet Office officials said they would convey the demand to the prime minister and expressed their desire to halt such abuse.
“Every time a case of harassment occurs, innocent female students are targeted,” the school’s principal, Gu Dae Sok, 56, told a news conference.
In January, the uniform of a female student at the school was cut while she was on a train. There have been numerous similar reports of abuse targeting students at pro-Pyongyang Korean schools in Japan.
Female students at such schools, many of whom are of North Korean descent, can be easily identified because their school uniforms are modeled after “chogori,” an ethnic Korean garment.
“Although the school instructs them not to wear chogori for safety, the children think this is unreasonable,” said a 53-year-old woman whose daughter is a second-year student at the high school.
“Biased media reports that fuel anti-North Korean feelings are part of the reason” behind the abuse, Gu said.
The harassment increased sharply following the Sept. 17 summit between Koizumi and Kim Jong Il, when the North Korean leader admitted that several Japanese nationals were abducted by that country in the 1970s and 1980s.
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