Monday, February 22, 2010

Soft power

Hiroshi Nakai, minister in charge of the abduction issue, has asked education minister Tatsuo Kawabata to bar schools that cater to the children of residents with ethnic ties to North Korea from the planned tuition-free subsidy program, government sources said.

Nakai...wants the exemption put in place to demonstrate Japan's firm stance on the abduction issue...Japan Times

One just has to figure that when your influence over another country drops to the point where you have to start targeting children of an ethnic group in your own country in spite, you're out of ammo.

According to the article, guidelines being considered might mean that these schools could be disqualified anyway because due to the lack of diplomatic relations because Japan cannot assess if schools in North Korea nearly match Japan's educational standards, so it seems that Nakai's idea does nothing more than show Kim Jung-il that we mean business and we can back it up. Take that Mr. Kim.

I am sure that Kim Jung-il, who has not shown any special sympathy to seeing his own people starve, or been reluctant to imprison and execute unknown numbers, is going to be moved to resolve the abduction issue because some fine examples of leadership in the Japanese government want to withhold education money from certain residents of Japan.

2/23Feb: A short article from LA Times on the Chosen schools in Japan is here.

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