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Japan Times Eulogizes Korean Lawyer

Posted February. 14, 2006 03:01,   


In an unprecedented move, the Japan Times, a Japanese English-language newspaper, published an article mourning the death of Korean-Japanese human rights lawyer Kim Kyeong-deuk (photo), who passed away late last year.

The article reported, “After a struggle with judicial authorities, he became the first foreign judicial apprentice and lawyer in Japan,” and praised his efforts, saying, “He made it possible for 30 Koreans to become lawyers in Japan, and abolished the clause that limited national university teacher openings and local government positions to Japanese only.

“He was always at the forefront of the fight against Japanese anti-Korean discrimination, such as national retirement fund suits, the anti-fingerprinting movement, and local government employment discrimination. Although he lost many cases, he fought on.”

The paper also added, “His memory will live on in the message: ‘Koreans in Japan people are the first foreigners Japanese befriended in today’s era of globalization.’”

His funeral is scheduled for February 25 in Tokyo.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com