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Korean Basketball Player Snatched by Japan

Posted March. 05, 2003 22:24,   


Ha Eun-joo, a lankbasketball player from Korea, is anticipated to lead a revival in woman’s basketball, having also garnered great interest in Japan.

“Ha Eun-joo, a student from Korea, is known to be in the process of acquiring citizenship in Japan,” The Asahi Newspaper of Japan reported on Wednesday,

The newspaper introduced Eun Joo Ha as ‘a player who led her team as a high school exclusive finalist in 2001 when she was a junior at Oka High School.’ It also reported that she actually started the naturalization process last summer.

Ishigawa, executive director of the Japan Basketball Association, clarified during an interview with the newspaper, “if Eun Joo Ha acquires citizenship, she will be selected as a representative Japanese player”, thus did not conceal any other anticipations of her.

Currently attending Shizuoka College as sophomore, Eun Joo Ha will graduate in February of next year and all obstacles will be removed for her since the regulations for naturalization in Japan, ‘Over 20 years of age and over 5 years of residence in Japan’ will be satisfied.

“I’ve tried to convince her to pursue a career in professional basketball in Korea but her decision to play in Japan is so firm,” Dong Gi Ha, father of Eun Joo Ha, clarified on Wednesday. “She hasn’t completely made up her mind about naturalization but it is true that she is going through the process.”

Meanwhile, there has been some controversy over her Japanese naturalization here in Korea.

The Korea Woman’s Basketball League decided on an exceptional emergency arrangement regarding Eun Joo Ha at its regularly held meeting, and they will recognize ownership if any team completes a contract with her even without a draft. Accordingly, some teams including Samsung Life have jumped on the bandwagon for ‘capturing Eun Joo Ha’ by persistently keeping in contact with her father.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com