On December 8, 2020, the 246th Japanese Expert Invitation Seminar was held as a webinar. With about 10 participants attending, Dr. Hye-Won Eom gave a presentation under the theme of "The significance of the lawsuit in the Japanese social movement: focused on the case of residual orphans in Japan". The contents of the announcement are as follows.
Shortly after World War II, Japanese orphans left behind in northeastern China have filed a lawsuit against the government since 2002 regarding the repatriation of civilians and the lack of adequate support measures from the government in the process of returning to Korea and settlement after returning home. However, they were defeated in seven courts excluding the Kobe District Court, and instead, the lawsuit was withdrawn from December 2007 to May 2008 as the Abe regime showed willingness to support orphans remaining in Japan.
The core of the residual orphan litigation can be divided into two main categories. First, the various problems surrounding the return and settlement of residual orphans have not been resolved for a long time. In order to clarify this, it is necessary to look at the pedigree and blood relationship, which are important factors in defining the Japanese. The Japanese consciousness of defining the boundaries of the Japanese ethnic group centered on blood ties has had a great influence on the problems surrounding the process of returning and settling the remaining orphans. The Japanese government and the public regarded the issue of the return of residual orphans as a matter of individuals and families seeking a lost lineage, and as a result, did not pay attention to the issue of settlement after the return of residual orphans. However, the orphans who returned home, strongly influenced by Chinese culture, were misunderstood as a class of Chinese migrant workers. Exclusionism, which began to intensify in Japanese society after the 1990s, has made residual orphans and their Chinese families face discrimination and alienation in Japan.
Second, there is a question about the reason why the remaining orphans, civil society groups and activists chose court litigation, and whether litigation is an effective strategy in Japanese social movements. Due to a lack of understanding and indifference to the past events related to colonial rule or war, residual orphans and civil activists were unable to create sufficient political pressure to bring about policy change through direct negotiations with the government. However, the facts about residual orphans recognized by the courts, for example the fact that residual orphans are Japanese citizens with a legitimate qualification to receive state protection, are the basis for continuing negotiations with the government. This remained an important asset for the remaining orphans and activists regardless of the winning or losing of the lawsuit.
In conclusion, unlike many civic groups and activists who expected that lawsuits, especially indemnification lawsuits against the government, were not an effective strategy for achieving the goal of government policy change, the lawsuit against the government combined with support activities of civil society in the issue of residual orphans in Japan I was able to maximize the performance of the exercise. In addition, the logic of support by Prime Minister Koizumi and Prime Minister Abe for Japanese abduction victims served as a strong basis for claiming support measures for residual orphans, and became an important reference point for determining the level of support.
After the presentation, questions and answers continued. First of all, regarding the comparative review with previous studies, the presenter tried to analyze through a system called law based on the fact that cases in Asia are relatively not reviewed compared to most of the theoretical backgrounds for legal movements in the United States. I expressed my feelings. Furthermore, regarding the issue of comparison with residual orphans remaining in China, the identity and experiences of residual orphans returning to Japan are different, so the case of residual orphans remaining in China is the same. Said it was a branch. Subsequently, inquiries about the meaning of the lawsuit in the Japanese social movement, the relationship with the net right, the issue of pedigreeist racism in Japan, and the relationship with international politics and domestic politics in Japan were ended after a series of inquiries.