• Kyodo

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Almost a quarter of the students at ethnic Korean schools in Osaka, particularly girls, have been the target of harassment since last September, when North Korea admitted to abducting Japanese nationals, according to a survey released Saturday by a group of lawyers.

Among 1,768 students at 12 elementary, junior high and high schools in Osaka Prefecture, 23.5 percent said they have been harassed since Sept. 17, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that his military had abducted Japanese nationals in a meeting with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Pyongyang. Before then, 19.2 percent had reported incidents of harassment.

Since the summit meeting, 39.9 percent of female fifth and sixth graders and 48.3 percent of female junior high school students have suffered abuse, the group said.

It said more than half of those responsible for the abuse were young people of the same generation, many of whom shouted “Go back to Korea!” or “I will kidnap you!”