"Koreans in Japan"

Korea, Japan, and their affiliates as historical variables

By William Wetherall

First posted 18 October 2009
Last updated 10 October 2010

Entities, affiliations, and status Korea | Japan | Koreans | Japanese | Koreans in Japan
Korea, Japan, Koreans, and Japanese  A periodic table of entities, affiliations, and status
Chosen legacies Wagner on Koreans in Japan (1951) | Reischauer on Koreans in Japan (1951) | Third nationals | Chosenese ghosts
Diet Committee Hearings 1963 Hiraga and Nakagaki testimonies

Entities, affiliations, and status

Archaelogical evidence reveals that interactions beween people on what is now the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archepelago go back many millennia. Historical accounts of such interactions go back nearly two thousand years, also to times before "Korea" and "Japan" existed as such. Even by the end of the first millennium in the Christian Era, when the major contenders for political power in these two regions have become the nominally single countries of Korea and Japan, these entities continued to change in ways that defy the notion that "Korea" and "Japan" have ever been "constant" much less "singular".

In other words, "Korea" and "Japan" have always been complex variables in an equation that has to be evaluated at each point on the timeline of their mutual histories. The boundaries of the two countries sometimes overlapped.

Antiquity to present

In earlier times, Koreans came to Japan, became Japanese, married into local clans including the those that married into the Yamato court, and contributed to the bloodline of future sovereigns. In more recent times -- a century ago as of 2010 -- the entirety of Korea became part of Japan and Koreans became Japanese.

Then in 1945 the Empire of Japan collapsed in defeat by the Allied Powers and Korea and Koreans were "liberated" from Japanese rule and status -- to a point. Korea's separation from Japan was not formally confimred until 1952, and only then did Koreans formally lose the Japanese nationality that had derived from Korea's territorial affiliation with Japan.

By 1952, however, there were two Korean states, the result of a divided Allied occupation of the peninsula in 1945, the United States south, and the Soviet Union north, of the 38th parallel. The two states, the Republic of Korea (ROK)and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), established in 1948, claimed to be the governments of the same "Korea" and the same "Koreans". And by 1950 the two states were at war.

The Korean war, which continued until 1953 -- the ideological coldwar rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union, and between their allies, which fed the Korean War -- strong animosities toward Japan on the part of both Koreas -- Japan's defensiveness toward Korean nationalism, and insecurity about its own national interests -- among other factors -- conspired to delay a normalization treaty between Japan and ROK until 1965. And -- as of 2010 -- ROK and DPRK remain in state of armistice, and the United States, ROK, and Japan have yet to establish normal relations with DPRK.


Given such interstate entanglements -- which inevitably effect the constitution of nations, and complicate the lives of the individuals and families who get swept up in the legal convolutions -- how can one write an intelligent history that accurately reflects the vicissitudes of names and statuses of entities and their affiliated populations?

How, moreover, can an historian -- of politics, law, society, whatever -- separate the raceless legal nomenclature for entities and affiliates, from the racialist terminology that journalists and scholars are apt to adopt from the vernacular whether they embrace or criticize the views of ethnonationalists?

An historian's difficulties are multiplied by the need to to choose, or not choose, between the cooodinate systems, say, Japanese law and the international treaties that have both informed and reflected Japanese law, or ROK law and related treaties, or DPRK law and related treaties.

Then there is the problem of language -- the fashions of, say, English usage in American mass media and academia, which are likely to reflect America's obsession with race boxes and race-based identity politics, which have a strong influence on global "multiculturalist" movements. Journalistic and academic writing in English about Koreans in Japan, for example, are more likely to have been Made in USA than Made in Japan.


Perhaps the most important consideration -- when choosing a vantage point from which one attempts to understand something -- is what or who is to benefit or suffer from an improvement in understanding. Understanding comes at a price, and the historian, who faciliates understanding, must take responsibility for its consequences.

If speaking of "Koreans in Japan", then I would think that the object would be to understand "Koreans" who are "in Japan". However one defines "Koreans in Japan" it seems essential that they be understood in terms how they deal with formal and informal conditions that are peculiar to Japan.

Because Koreans in Japan deal with their conditions as individuals and families, sometimes through the agency of state, local, or community communities, organizations, and bureaucracies, it seems paramount that they be regarded as a complex population, that they not be reduced to a "minority" or "group" or "community" -- that the categorical "they" never be taken to represent a singularity except when it is clear that "they" share one or more traits in common.

The only single trait "Koreans in Japan" obviously share is that they are human. If objectively defined in terms of one or more of three Korean nationalities, then they also share the quality of being aliens. As aliens, though, they will scatter across the map of numerous statuses of residence shared by other aliens. And as residents of Japan, they will have more than not in common with Japanese residents, whose rights and duties also vary with personal and familial statuses.

For the treaties and other matters before, during, and after the period of annexation of Korea as Chosen, see Chosen: The legal integration of Korea.

For treaties related to the postwar status of Chosen as Korea, and of Korea as ROK and DPRK, see Territorial settlements: ROC and PRC, ROK and DPRK, and the USSR and Russia.


Koreans in Japan


By "Koreans in Japan" I mean people who are formally "Koreans" according to their legal status in "Japan" as defined at a particular time. Formally "Koreans" are people who are affiliated with "Korea" as an entity, the political quality of which varies with historical period. Formally "Japan" is also an entity whose borders have varied with historical period and at one time included Korea.



"Korea" -- as a pronoun for numerous more specific proper nouns in English and other languages -- can have any number of meanings depending on the period and context in which it is used. There is, inevitably, a huge gap in the formal meaning of "Korea" as a legal entity in the eyes of the states, and "Korea" as a informal reference to a real or country in the minds of people who may not agree with its legal status, or in the minds of people formed in one language .

The following list focuses on the varieties of "Korea" that have been

  1. The Chosŏn Dynasty or other unified Korean entity on the what is today called the Korean peninsula up to 1897.
  2. The Empire of Korea from 1897-1910, including the period from roughly 1905-1910, when the Empire of Korea because a protectorship of Japan.
  3. Chōsen, a territory of the Empire of Japan, and part of Japan as a sovereign state, from 1910-1945.
  4. Korea as an object of independence and liberation from Japanese influence, in the eyes of nationalists on the peninsula and elsewhere, from as early as the late 19th century, but especially from 1905, 1910, and 1919.
  5. Korea as an object of liberation by the Allied Powers from the issuance of the Cairo Declaration in 1943.
  6. Korea (Chōsen) that Japan provisionally abandonded when accepting the Potsdam Declaration in 1945, including the Cairo Declaration, as the terms of an unconditional surrender, and which Japan formally abandoned when it signed the principal instrument of surrender on 2 September 1945.
  7. Korea (Chōsen) as a territory surrendered north of south of the 38th parallel of north latitude to USSR and US military forces during September 1945, and thereafter divided into north and south occupation zones, from 1945-1948.
  8. Korea (Chōsen) which remained, after its divided occupation, a territory to be formally ceded to the Korean state that the Allied Powers intended to establish on the peninsula during its occupation.
  9. The Republic of Korea (ROK), established in the American zone south of the 38th parallel on 15 August 1948.
  10. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), established in the Soviet zone north of the 39th parallel on 9 September 1948.
  11. The "Korea" (Chōsen) that remained an object of territorial settlement in the eyes of the Allied Powers and Japan -- despite the establishment of two Korean states, each claiming essentially the same right to govern the former Japanese territory of Chōsen and its people -- and despite the formal recognition by the General Assembly of the United Nations in late 1948 of ROK as the only legitimate government on the peninsula.
  12. The contested territory of "Korea" (Chōsen) that became the stage of the "Korean War" of 1950-1953, which ended in a stalemate and truce at the 38th parallel where the peninsula had been divided in 1945.
  13. The "Korea" (Chōsen) that Japan recognized as having become the sovereign dominion of the Republic of Korea, when their two countries normalized (formally established) their relationship as mutually recognizing states in 1965.
  14. The "Korea" (Chōsen) that remains part of the undigested past in the eyes, at least, of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with which Japan has yet to normalize a relationship.
  15. The united "Korea" that not a few people would like to see result from a peaceful merger of ROK and DPRK, both simultaneously admitted to the United Nations in 1991, but still militarily posturing on their sides of the 38th parallel.



"Japan" I mean the sovereign part of the Empire of Japan until 1945. This "Japan" included Taiwan (Formosa) from 1895, Karafuto (southern part of Sakhalin) from 1905, and Chosen (Korea) from 1910. When occupied by the Allied Powers in 1945 after World War II, "Japan" was formally redefined without Formosa, Korea, Karafuto, Okinawa, and a few islands that had been part of the sovereign empire. In the San Francisco Peace Treaty, effective from 1952, Japan formally abandoned its sovereignty over Taiwan and Korea, among other occupied territories, while reserving residual sovereignty over Okinawa. From this point in time, all people who had been affiliated with the abandoned territories, whether they were then inside or outside Japan, lost their Japanese nationality.



When clear you are talking about “Koreans in Japan” then write just “Koreans”. You need to write “Koreans in Japan” only when necessary to differentiate such Koreans from Koreans elsewhere, such as “Korea” (meaning anywhere on the peninsula), or “southern Korea” or “northern Korea” (meaning parts of Korea in the south or north) , “ROK” or “DPRK” meaning these entities after 1948.

Between 1945 and 1952, "Koreans in Japan" were Japanese nationals, but were formally treated as "liberated" peoples by GHQ/SCAP, which excluded them from its definition of "Japanese" for border control, alien registration, and certain other Occupation purposes. Accordingly, Japanese government ordinances and other measures based on SCAP directives regarding the status of "Koreans" from 1945 to 1952 were similarly dualistic in their treatment of Koreans -- who were "aliens" under some provisions, and "Japanese nationals" under others.

From 1952, however, Koreans in Japan became unequivocally aliens. Their formal state affiliation (nationality) remained uncertain, though, for Japan did recognize ROK as the successor of "Korea" until 1965. Note that, in the Japanese versions of both the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and in the 1965 normalization treaty with ROK, "Korea" is "Chosen" -- and, as a historical entity, it remains "Chosen" in present-day court decisions concerning legacy status issues, such as in cases when a Korean claims to be Japanese.

By 1965, most "Koreans" in Japan had affiliated themselves with ROK, and their alien registration reflected their ROK status. The status of non-ROK Koreans in Japan, however, remained -- and remains today -- in limbo. Non-ROK Koreans whose status in Japan goes back to the Occupation period have remained affiliated with "Chosen" on their alien registration. While some (at times many) of these Koreans have been supportive of DRPK, because Japan has not recognized it as a state, or otherwise established such relations with DPRK that would allow it to attribute its nationality to Koreans in Japan who wish to be counted among its people, "Chosenjin" as such have been de facto stateless aliens.

Chosenjin in Japan today are not de jure stateless, because they have a territorial affiliation -- namely, they are affiliates of "Chosen" who have yet to migrate to a nationality of a recognized state, such as ROK, or another state that Japan recognize. Categorically, such Koreans have usually been lumped together with "Kankokujin" or "ROK Koreans" in alien registration and border control statistics. In addition to these Chosen-affiliated Koreans, there are, in fact, a very small number of non-ROK Koreans in Japan who have been admitted to Japan from DPRK, as DPRK affiliates. They, too, are generally lumped together with ROK nationals in government statistics, though reports include specific data on DPRK entrants by visa status, and explain such data in terms of Japan’s volatile relations with DPRK.






Zainichi Koreans

The term "zainichi Koreans" is widely used today in English literature to represent terms like "zainichi Kankokujin" or "zanichi Chosenjin" or "zainichi Kankoku/Chosenjin" and the like -- which may or may not refer to "Koreans in Japan" as a formal category. In fact, "zainichi Koreans" -- or, more recently, just "zainichi" -- is used with various meanings, often implying common "ethnicity" in the sense defined by some social scientists as a quality that bonds a "group" of people which considers "itself" culturally different from another "group". The term "ethnic Koreans" -- with such implications of "group" identity -- has recently come to be used in English journalism and academia related to Koreans in Japan -- as "translationese" for "zainichi" Koreans regarded as an ethnic entity.

While at times I will speak of ethnicity, and refer to so-called "zainichi Koreans" in various contexts within present-day discourse, I will eschew its use as a historically and formally neutral term, for several reasons. First, as a Sino-Japanese expression, "zainichi" means most objectively only "being in Japan" or "in Japan" -- usually with implications of residence as opposed to sojourning. It is most widely used with aliens -- hence "zainichi gaikokujin" or "foreigners in Japan" and the like -- whereas the formal term for "resident alien" is "zairyu gaikokujin". However, some people refer to "zainichi Nihonjin" (Japanese in Japan) as a counterpart to "kaigai Nihonjin" (overseas Japanese) or "zaigai Nihonjin" (Japanese outside [Japan]) -- or, more formally in Ministry of Foreign affairs statistics, as "kaigai zairyu hojin" (countrymen residing overseas).

As an informal classification in reference to Koreans in Japan, the meaning of "zainichi Koreans" (which is rendered various ways in Japanese) -- or just "zainichi" as has become more fashionable today -- varies from specific reference only to (1) those "Koreans" whose formal status of residence as aliens is tied to the San Francisco Peace Treaty -- or more broadly to (2) all aliens who are "Koreans" by one or another formal status of residence -- and increasing, though more radically, to (3) anyone who is construed to have one drop of "Korean" blood in their veins regardless of their nationality. Some uses of "zainichi" in relation to "Koreans in Japan" began to appear during the Occupation. However, the various nuances that are today associated with "zainichi Koreans" developed mostly over the half century since 1952, when Koreans in Japan lost their Japanese nationality and began to be fully subjected to alien status laws and changes in Japan’s relations with the two Korean states. In other words, as an informal classification, "zainichi Koreans" has to be seen as a phenomenon -- today mostly "racioethnic" or "ethnonational" -- that has evolved parallel to the more formal and general understanding of "Koreans in Japan" as a matter of law and formal policy.


"Zainichi Koreans" as treaty status: Korean SPRs


"Zainichi Koreans" as peninsula status: Chosen, ROK, and DPRK Koreans


"Zainichi Koreans" as ethnicity: Racioethnic identity


Entities and affiliations as variables

The following table shows the development of "Korea" and "Japan" in relation to one another, from the last quarter of the late 19th century to the present, and the statuses of their populations during this period.

States and statuses in confusion
Korea and Japan as entities, Koreans and Japanese as affiliates
From late 19th to early 21st centuries
1876-1897Chosen as a dynastic state and object of gunboat diplomacy
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese

"Empire of Japan"

"subjects of Chosen"

"subjects of Japan"

Korea is commonly 朝鮮 (K. Chosŏ, J. Chōsen) and less accurately 韓 (K. Han, J. Kan). More formal names include 大朝鮮國 and 朝鮮國. Corea and Korean are common English names but some treaties use Chosen.

From no later than 1876 Japan, sometimes Nihon or Nippon, is most formally 大日本帝國, less formally 日本帝國, and most commonly 日本. In its treaty with 朝鮮 in 1876, it is 大日本國, 日本國, and 日本.

The 1876 Kanghwa treaty between Korea and Japan refers to Koreans as 朝鮮國人民. Literally "person [as affiliate] of the country Chosen", this became "subject of Chosen" in the English version.

The 1876 Kanghwa treaty between Japan and Korea refers to Japnaese as 日本國人民. Literally "person [as affiliate] of the country Japan", this became "Japanese subject" in the English version.

Nominal master of its soul

The English names "Corea" and "Korea" reflect older conventions for what since the late 14th century (and at times earlier) been 朝鮮 (K. Chosŏ, J. Chōsen). Late 19th century romanizations included "Chaosien" (Chinese) and "Chosen" (probably Japanese).

Korea was not formally a tributary of China but China had long had considerable influence over the peninsula. China, which continued to have problems dealing with Euroamerican powers, had little difficulty persuading Korea to keep its ports and borders closed to countries other than China.

Japan, after opening its own ports and borders under unequal treaties with the same Euroamerican powers, had then, after civil wars and a revolution, reformed its government in order to be able to develop its ability to stand as equals with the United States and other countries that then had extraterritorial rights in Japan. Japan also began to view its foreign interests in terms of trade and other activities with other countries, including China and Korea.

In 1876, Korea and Japan signed what is called the "Kanghwa treaty", which declared that Korea was an independent state and Korea and Japan were equals. This treaty, by way of resolving recent conflicts between the two countries, partly provoked by activities of Japanese ships near Kanghwa, opened ports for Japanese vessels and trade, and provided rules for the treatment of each other's people. But also set a precendent for treaties between Korea and other states.

1876   The Kanghwa Treaty of 26 February 1876 spoke of the governments of 日本國 and 朝鮮國 and affiliated people as 人民. A later English version calls the entities "Japan" and "Chosen" and speaks of their affiliates as "subjects" of Japan and Chosen.

See Korea becomes Chosen: The road to annexation and the first decade of nationalization for details on these and other treaties.

See Battle of Chosen for a contemporary woodblock story of the Kanghwa incident.

1876   Japan and Korea signed a Supplementary Treaty on 24 August 1876. The English version of this treaty refers to the entities as "Japan" and "Korea" and to affiliates of Korea as "Korean subjects".

1882   Korea and the United states concluded a treaty of amity and commerce on 22 May 1882. Ratifications were exchanged a year later on 19 May 1883.

The formal names of the entities are 大朝鮮國 and 大亞美理駕合衆國, but these are also reduced to 大朝鮮國 and 大美國 and (most generally) just 朝鮮 and 美國.

The English version speaks fully of "the United States of America" and "the Kingdom of Chosen" but then shortens these to just "the United States" and "Chosen".

The treaty, which gave the United States extraterritorial rights, speaks of "the President of the United States and the King of Chosen and the citizens and subjects of their respective governments." The term "Corea" does not appear in the treaty.

Both the "citizens" of the United States and the "subjects" of Chosen are 民人 in the Chinese version. "Nationality" in the English version is reflected as 所屬 (affiliation) in the Chinese version. The English expression "official of the nationality of the defendant" becomes 被告所屬之官員 (literally "official of the defendant's affiliation") and "plaintiff's nationality" becomes 原告所屬之國 (literally "plaintiff's country of affiliation").

1882   On 30 August 1882, Japan and Korea signed the a new treaty, at Chemulpo, to revise their relationship in the light of developments since 1876 (including the terms of the treaty Korea had signed with the United States), and to resolve recent conflicts between the two states.

The entity names in the Chinese and Japanese versions are 大日本國 and 日本國 for Japan, and 大朝鮮國 and 朝鮮國 for Korea.

1883   On 26 November 1883, Korea signed treaties with Germany and Great Britain. The English version of the treaty with Great Britain speaks of "Korea" and of "Korean subjects" and "British subjects".

"people" and "subjects"

When Korea and Japan signed the Kanghwa treaty in 1876, the word 國籍 (国籍) -- now the standard term for "nationality" in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese in domestic and international law -- had not been coined in Japan, and neither country had the equivalent of a nationality law.

The treaty term 所屬 (所属), was then and is still today, a common Sinific passive construction meaning "to belong to" or "to be affiliated with". Taken as a noun, it means "belonging" or "affiliation" -- and in the English version of the Kanghwa treaty, it became "nationality".

The term "subject" was commonly used to mean "people" considered as subjects of a sovereign. Great Britain's nationality spoke of those who possessed British nationality as British subjects, and "subjects" did not become "citizens" until 1948. Domestic laws of states also vary accoring to whether they regard those who possess the state's nationality as "citizens" or "nationals" or, as in the United States, some as "US citizens" (who are only "nationals" under international law) and others as "US nationals" (who are not citizens under US law).

The term "subject" was expressed as 臣民 (shinmin) meaning "loyal affiliate" in the 1890 Constitution of Japan. This term had appeared, along with 人民 (jinmin) or "person [as affiliate] and 國民 (kokumin) or "national [affiliate]" in Japan's 1871 Family Register Law.

臣民 also became the term for "subject" of Korea as an empire from 1897 (see below).

The Sinific compound 人民 was established as a term for affiliation with a state's demographic nation from no later than the 1850s. The term retains this meaning today in the name and in the status laws of the People's Republic of China (PRC, established in 1949) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, established in 1948). But it is also used in Sinific translations of the "the people" as used in, for example, the US Constitution.

The Sinific term 民 remains the most widely used suffix for polity affiliation. 国民 (national) continues to be the standard term for national affiliation in Japan (from no later than 1871), the Republic of China (ROC, established in 1912), and the Republic of Korea (ROK, established in 1948). 民 is also widely used Chinese and Korean states, and in Japan, in words designating other kinds of affiliation.

In Japan, for example, local (municipal and prefectural) polity affiliations are expressed as 民 -- hence 区市町村民 (区民、市民、町民、村民) for municipal (ward, city, town, village) affiliates, and 都道府県民 (都民、道民、府民、県民) for prefectural affiliates.

1897-1910Korea as an empire
1905-1910Korea as a protectorate
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese
Empire of Korea

Empire of Japan

Korean subjects

Japanese subjects

Korea's formal names change to 大韓帝國 or just 韓國, meaning literally "Great Han Empire" and "Country of Han" or "Han State". 韓 (K. Han, J. Kan) thus replaces 朝鮮 (K. Chosŏ, J. Chōsen) as the name for the entity. Korea's new imperial name is inspired by Japan's imperial name.

Japan remains formally 大日本帝國 or just 日本國, meaning literally "Great Japan Empire" and "Country of Japan" or "Japan State". These names were inspired by the Sinific name for the British Empire (大英帝國) and its abbreviation (英國).

Koreans become Korean subjects (韓國臣民) or Koreans (韓人), among other more common references. More formally they might be Great Korean Empire subjects (大韓帝國臣民).

Japanese are Japanese subjects (日本臣民) but also Japanese nationals (日本國民) and Japanese (日本人). They are also called Japanese [state] subjects (日本國臣民), Great Japan Empire subjects (大日本帝國臣民), and just imperial subjects (帝國臣民).

Protection along the imperial way

The roughly 13-year period from 1897 to 1910 is the most crucial in Korea's transition from being an independent to becoming a non-state territory of Japan, for during this period it became, by degrees, a protectorate of Japan.

It was also during this period that the name of Korea most significantly changed. Of significance today is the fact that Korea's name from 1897-1910 is embedded in the name of Republic of Korea (ROK) founded in 1948, while its name until 1897, and under Japanese rule from 1910, is embedded in the name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

1897   After the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War, which began in Korea, Yi Dynasty Korea (Chosŏn) becomes the Empire of Korea (Hanguk). This transition is partly inspired and even driven by Japan's political activities on the peninsula. The cost of extracting itself from China's influence has left it vulnerable to domination by Japan.

1899   Japan promulgates its first Nationality Law on 16 March. The law, enforced from 1 April in the Interior, was extended to Taiwan from 21 June. Extraterritoriality (consular jurisdiction) ended in Japan on 17 July.

Note that Taiwanese were already Japanese nationals as an effect of Japan's incorporation of Taiwan into its sovereign territory. Taiwan, formerly under Chinese affiliation laws such as they were, lacked its own affiliation laws. Extending the Nationality Law to the territory filled this legal gap.

1904   After the start of the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War, which began in Korea, the Empire of Korea becomes a quasi-protectorate of Japan, as Japan guarantees the safety of Korea's imperial family and the independence and territorial integrity of the country.

1905   In the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, the Empire of Korea becomes a full protectorate of Japan. In addition to defending Korea, Japan now proxies its foreign affairs through a Resident-General in Korea and Japanese missions elsewhere. Japan's consulates in Korea are replaced by Residents. Korean subjects in other countries are represented by Japanese consulates. The Resident-General post officially begins from 3 March 1906.

1907   In another agreement, Japan gains powers of approval over many domestic affairs including administrative reforms and enactments of laws and ordinances. Controversy over whether Korea should be incorporated into Japan rages.

1909   Korea's first comprehensive population register [affiliation] law (民籍法 K. Minjŏkpŏp, J. Minsekihō) is promulgated on 4 March and enforced from 1 April 1909. The law was drafted and implemented under the direction of the Resident-General of Korea, who by then was more deeply involved helping Korea carry out various domestic reforms.

The law was intended to improve the quality of demographic information for the purpose of collecting taxes and administering other laws and policies concerning individuals and families. Japan linked the ability of the state to accurately register and appraise its residents as essential to carrying out the nation-building reforms it had been implementing in Japan since the start of the Meiji period in 1868.



The term 国籍 (kokuseki), which came to be used throughout East Asia to mean civil "nationality" in domestic and international law, had been coined in Japan in the 1880s. But Japan did not promulgate and enforce a nationality law until 1899.

Japan's 1890 Constitution left the definition of qualifications for being an Japanese subject (日本臣民) to a statute. The statute was the 1899 Nationality Law. However, the 1899 law, following a 1873 proclamation concerning status changes in marriage and adoption alliances between Japanese and aliens, defined the rules for acquiring and losing the status of being Japanese (日本人).

Japan's 1899 Nationality Law did not define (as an "initial determination") the population that was presumed to have Japanese nationality at the time the law began to be enforced. But the rules set down in the law were systematically applied to household (family) registers in what by then had become the Interior (Naichi) or prefectural jurisdiction of Japan. Consequently, household egisters (戸籍 koseki) affiliated with prefectural municipalities became the equivalent of nationality registers (国籍 kokuseki).

Also in 1899, shortly after its implementation in the Interior, Japan's new Nationality Law was formally applied to registers in Taiwan, which had been incorporated into Japan's sovereign dominion in 1895. The practice, in Japan, of basing entity (including local, regional, and state) affiliation on status in registers incorporated by the entity goes back to at least the 6th century.


Korea's population registers were much less systematically defined and overseen as Japan's. Status as a Korean subject was based on a presumption of affiliation with the peninsula, whether based on a registar or on customary assumptions.

Korea's registration practices would not be revised with uniform nationwide standards and control in mind until 1909, two years after Korea had agreed to allow the Resident-General of Korea to be involved in its domestic affairs.

民籍 means a "register of people as affiliates". The term had been used in China and also at times (but not widely) in Japan. Japan later used the term in its demographic statistics as an overarching classification for register-defined legal jurisdictions within its sovereign empire.

The 1930 census, for example, used "minseki kokuseki" (民籍国籍 minseki kokuseki) as the overall heading for Japanese and alien statuses. "Minseki" embraced Interiorites (内地人 Naichijin) and Exteriorites (外地人 Gaichijin), and Exteriorites were broken down by Chōsen (朝鮮), Taiwan (台湾), and Karafuto (樺太 (Karafuto). Then came "aliens" (外国人 gaikokujin), broken down by, for example, Republic of China (中華民国 Chūka Minkoku), followed by many other countries.

Japan, Korea, America

References to affiliates of multiple states typically reflected differences in status terms. Imperial Edit No. 308 of 1909, concerning patent registrations, for example, referred to affiliates of Japan, Korea, and the United States, in semi-formal terms, as 日本國臣民、韓國臣民又ハ米國人民 -- meaning "subjects of Japan, subjects of Korea, and people of America". This edict, promulgated on 25 October and enforced from 1 November 1909, was abrogated by Imperial Edict No. 336 of 1910, on 29 August 1910, the day Korea joined Japan as Chosen.

Japan and the United States had signed a treaty in the City of Washington on 19 May 1908 in which laws and regulations concerning "inventions, designs, trade-marks and copy-rights similar to those which now exist in Japan . . . are to be applicable to American citizens in Korea equally as to Japanese and Korean subjects." The object of the treaty was to protect patent and related rights in Korea (H.I.J.M.'s Residency General, The Second Annual Report on Reforms and Progress in Korea (1908-9), Seoul: December, 1909, pages 183-183).

1910-1945Chosen (Korea) as a territory of Japan
1910-1945Korea as an object of national independence
1943-1945Korea (Chosen) as an object of Allied liberation
Interior (prefectures), Taiwan, Karafuto, Chosen
Interiorites, Taiwanese, Karafutoans, Chosenese

The Empire of Korea becomes part of Japan and is renamed Chosen (朝鮮 Chōsen). As a jurisdiction within Japan's sovereign territory, it is governed by the Government-General of Chosen. The romanization of Chosen later becomes Tyosen.

Subjects of the Empire of Korea become subjects of the Empire of Japan as a result of the cession of Korea to Japan. As affiliates of Chosen, they are Japanese of Chosenese (later Tyosenese) subnationality, a territorial register status.

1910-1945   Loss of statehood

1910   The Empire of Korea cedes itself to the Empire of Japan. Korea loses its status as a state and becomes part of Japan's sovereign dominion called Chosen. Korea had already lost its status as a fully competent state when it delegated its defense and foreign affairs to Japan.

People affiliated with Chosen registers become Japanese. However, as Chosen was a distinct legal jurisdiction within the sovereign empire -- alongside the Interior (prefectures), Taiwan, and Karafuto -- Japanese affiliated with Chosen are Chosenese by territoriality.

The legal jurisdictions of the sovereign empire consisted of the Interior (Naichi), Taiwan, Karafuto, and Chosen. The legal jurisdictions of the larger legal empire consisted of

Laws of laws

Since 21 June 1898, Japan had a law called "Rules of laws" (法例 Hōrei), which determined which state's laws would apply, especially in the realm of international private law.

From 1 June 1918, Japan also had a "Common law" (共通法 Kyōtsūhō), which established rules for determining which laws applied in matters involving entities and people affiliated with different regional jurisdictions of Japan, not in its sovereign dominion, but also of its larger legal empire.

Imperial Japan's sovereign dominion included, in addition to the Interior (Naichi) or prefectures, the Exterior (Gaichi) territories of Taiwan (1895), Karafuto (1905), and Chosen (1910). Japan's larger legal empire included the Exterior jurisdictions of Kwantung Province (originally leased from China) and the South Sea Islands (German territories occupied during World War I and later mandated to Japan's administration).

For purposes of the 1918 Common Law, Karafuto was treated as a part of the Interior. Karafuto, the southern half of Sakhalin, had been partly under Japan's control until 1875 when Japan recognized Russia's claim to all of Sakhalin in return for Japan's claims to all of the Kuriles. Then in 1905, Russia ceded Karafuto to Japan in the treaty that settled the Russo-Japanese War. Karafuto was formally incorporated into the Interior in 1943, invaded by and surrendered to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, and formally separated from Japan by the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty.

Nationality in Chosen

The Korean state that ceded itself to Japan included both its demographic nation and geographic territory. It stood to reason that those who Korea had considered its subjects became Japanese subjects, hence Japanese nationals, hence Japanese.

Much is made of the fact that Japan did not extend its Nationality Law to Chosen, but the law governs only the gain or loss of nationality by individuals at time of birth or later in life. It does not determine the nationality of people already in existing registers.

The 1890 Constitution required that qualifications for being subjects of Japan be determined by laws. But the annexation treaty had the status of a law. And it clearly implied that Koreans would become subjects of Japan's sovereign.

Moreover, Korea's 1909 Population Register Law, like most Korean laws, continued to operate as a Chosen law. And as an affiliation law designed for Chosen registers, it could serve as a de facto nationality law for the purpose of determining who would become Chosenese, hence subjects and nationals of Japan, and therefore Japanese.

Note that while the Nationality Law -- though intended to satisfy the constitutional stipulation that the qualifications for being a subject be determined by law -- does provide rules for being a "subject" but rules for being "Japanese". It made no difference, because registers did not record that a member of the register was a subject, a national, or Japanese. Being a member of a register that belonged to Japan's sovereign dominion made one a subject of the sovereign, a national of Japan, hence Japanese.

1945-1952Korea (Chosen) as a cession entity
1945-1948Korea as two occupation zones
1945-presentKorea as an object of national reunification
1948-presentKorea as two contentious states
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese

Under Japanese domestic laws and international law including terms of surrender

Chosen, as part of Japan, becomes "Korea" as an object of surrender to, and occupation by, the Allied Powers. Korea is not a state but an territory to be ceded away from Japan to a Korean state when such a state is formed.

The Empire of Japan is reduced to "Japan" -- a new legal entity consisting of territories of the Interior that are jointly occupied by the Allied Powers.

Chosenese, as Japanese, become "Koreans" as persons "liberated" by the Allied Powers. Koreans are not nationals of a state but affiliates of a territory that will cede to a Korean state when formed, become its nationals.

"Japanese" as defined for Occupation purposes are persons affiliated with registers in Occupied Japan. However, "Koreans" in "Japan" remain Japanese nationals while being treated as "aliens" under some Occupation measures.

Under legal measures based on SCAP directives during Allied Occupation of Japan

1945-08-15   Japan agrees to accept the Potsdam Declaration, which called for its unconditional surrender stipulated the terms of surrender, and Hirohito orders Japan's military commanders to cease fighting.

1945-09-02   Japan signs a general instrument of surrender. From this point, the sovereignty of the Empire of Japan is subject to the authority of Allied representatives in different occupation zones, under the general direction of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Tokyo.

1945-1948   Korea

Korea is divided into two occupation zones north and south of the 38th parallel. Soviet forces occupy the north, US forces the south.

1948-08-15   Republic of Korea (ROK) established in south.

1948-09-09   Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) established in north.

Both ROK and DPRK claim essentially the same territority and affiliated national popluation. The United Nations General Assembly, however, recognizes only ROK as the legitimate government on the peninsula. The US and other countries also recognize ROK.

1949   People's Republic of China (PRC) established. Republic of China (ROC) sets of government in exile on Taiwan. The Soviet Union, which had recognized DPRK, recognizes PRC.

25 June 1950   DPRK invades ROK with the intention of unifying the peninsula. The United Nations Security Council -- including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Republic of China, but minus the Soviet Union -- condemned DPRK's actions and sanctioned support of ROK by willing UN member states. Neither ROK nor DPRK were UN members.

8 September 1951   Japan signs a general peace treaty with the Allied Powers in San Francisco. ROC, though a principal Allied Power in the war against Japan, was unable to join the peace conference because of objections by some Allied states that PRC should represent China. The Soviet Union participated in the conference but chose not to sign the treaty.

20 October 1951 to 24 April 1952   Japan and ROK negotiate provisions for both a normalization treaty and a nationality and treatment aggreement. They agree on some matters but disagree on others. ROK rejects Japan's proposal that they sign a treaty and agreement covering what they agree to and resolve outstanding issues later. ROK accepts Japan's proposal to suspend talks indefinitely.

This first round of talks consisted of preliminary talks (10 October to 28 November 1951) and main talks (15 February 1952 to 24 April 1952.

18 January 1952   Syngman Rhee declares a "Peace Line" in the seas between ROK and Japan, putatively to protect its marine interests from encroachements by Japanese vessels. The ROK side of the line included islands Japan considered part of its territory.

The "Rhee Line" declaration comes between the preliminary and main talks in the first round of ROK-Japan normalization talks. The territorial dispute triggered by the drawing of the line added another item to the agenda of issues the two countries would have to resolve, or at least agree to shelf, before they could normalize their relationship.

1 April 1952   At this 36th meeting of the subcomittee on nationality and treatment, Japan and Korea agreed to a "Draft of Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea concerning the nationality and treatment of Republic of Korea nationals in Japan" (在日韓国人の国籍及び処遇に関する日韓協定案 Zainichi Kankokujin no kokusei oyobi shog? ni kan suru Nik-Kan ky?tei an). However, some points of contention had been shelved. (Takasaki 1996, page 34)

ROK and DPRK did not become UN members until 1991. PRC did not replace ROC in China's seat until 1972.


"Korea" (Chosen) as a part of Japan becomes object of surrender to, and occupation by, Allied Powers.
US forces occupy southern half of peninsula.
USSR occupies northern half.
"Korea" (Chosen) governmentally and administratively separated from Empire of Japan.
The US and the USSR foster the establishment of a Korean state in their respective occupation zones.

Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) established in the US and USSR occupation zones on the Korean (Chosen) peninsula.
Both governments claim to be Korea's successor state, but the United Nations and the US view ROK as the sole government of Korea.
DPRK invades ROK in 1950, beginning a war of unification that ceases with a truce in 1953 at the original north-south division.


Empire of Japan reduced to parts of "Japan" jointly occupied by Allied Powers.
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) delegated sovereignty over Occupied Japan but Japanese government continues to operate under SCAP directives.

Japan, still under GHQ/SCAP, has to live with the legacy of the agreement between the US and the USSR to divide the peninsula into two occupation zones, and the failure of Korean leaders in the two zones to agree to the formation of a single government.
Japan and the Allied Powers sign a peace treaty in San Francisco in 1951.
GHQ/SCAP facilitates negotiations between Japan and ROK in hopes they can reach a settlement in order to sign a treaty when the SF treaty comes into effect in 1952. Similar negotiations between Japan and ROC succeed, but Japan and ROK fail to reach an agreement, largely because of unreasonable demands by ROK.


"Koreans" (Chosenese) in "Japan" remain Japanese nationals of Korean (Chosen) territorial affiliation. However, under some SCAP directives and related government ordinances and laws they are treated as aliens.
Most of the roughly two million "Koreans" who were in the prefectures at the end of the war desire to return or go to the peninsula. About 600,000 -- mainly people who had settled in the prefectures before the Pacific war and their descendants -- choose to remain in Occupied Japan.

The legal status of "Koreans" (Chosenese) in Japan is not changed by the establishment of ROK and DPRK, for there are as yet no agreements between Japan and either of these states.
"Koreans" in Japan are divided in their feelings about ROK and DPRK. Some support ROK as a non-communist state and some support DPRK as a communist state. Some reserve their support for any unified Korean state, and some are more concerned about circumstances in Japan than on the peninsula.
The outbreak and ferocity of the Korean conflict was cause of considerable concern for "Koreans" in Japan with close relatives on the peninsula. The war also dashed the hopes some still had of returning or going to Korea.

"Korea" (Chosen) becomes object of surrender to, and occupation by, Allied Powers.
US forces occupy southern half of peninsula.
USSR occupies northern half.
"Korea" (Chosen) governmentally and administratively separated from Empire of Japan.
The US and the USSR foster the establishment of a Korean state in their respective occupation zones.

Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) established in the US and USSR occupation zones on the Korean (Chosen) peninsula.
Both governments claim to be Korea's successor state, but the United Nations and the US view ROK as the sole government of Korea.
DPRK invades ROK in 1950, beginning a war of unification that ceases with a truce in 1953 at the original north-south division.

Empire of Japan reduced to parts of "Japan" jointly occupied by Allied Powers.
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) delegated sovereignty over Occupied Japan but Japanese government continues to operate under SCAP directives.

Japan, still under GHQ/SCAP, has to live with the legacy of the agreement between the US and the USSR to divide the peninsula into two occupation zones, and the failure of Korean leaders in the two zones to agree to the formation of a single government.
Japan and the Allied Powers sign a peace treaty in San Francisco in 1951.
GHQ/SCAP facilitates negotiations between Japan and ROK in hopes they can reach a settlement in order to sign a treaty when the SF treaty comes into effect in 1952. Similar negotiations between Japan and ROC succeed, but Japan and ROK fail to reach an agreement, largely because of unreasonable demands by ROK.

"Koreans" (Chosenese) in "Japan" remain Japanese nationals of Korean (Chosen) territorial affiliation. However, under some SCAP directives and related government ordinances and laws they are treated as aliens.
Most of the roughly two million "Koreans" who were in the prefectures at the end of the war desire to return or go to the peninsula. About 600,000 -- mainly people who had settled in the prefectures before the Pacific war and their descendants -- choose to remain in Occupied Japan.

The legal status of "Koreans" (Chosenese) in Japan is not changed by the establishment of ROK and DPRK, for there are as yet no agreements between Japan and either of these states.
"Koreans" in Japan are divided in their feelings about ROK and DPRK. Some support ROK as a non-communist state and some support DPRK as a communist state. Some reserve their support for any unified Korean state, and some are more concerned about circumstances in Japan than on the peninsula.
The outbreak and ferocity of the Korean conflict was cause of considerable concern for "Koreans" in Japan with close relatives on the peninsula. The war also dashed the hopes some still had of returning or going to Korea.


"Japanese" defined under SCAP directives and related government ordinances and laws as people territorially affiliated with Occupied Japan. Revised suffrage laws apply to people in Japan who are subject to the prefectural (Interior) Family Register Law.
Practically all "Japanese" (prefectural registrants, Interiorites) in Korea (Chosen) return or come to the prefectures. Some, however, remain on the peninsula for family or other reasons.
Some "Japanese" in Occupied Japan become "Koreans", and some "Koreans" become "Japanese", through marriage and other status acts, since principles of private law affecting migrations between Interior (prefectural) and other registers still apply in Japan.

Some "Japanese" as defined under GHQ/SCAP arrangements are also divided in their feelings about ROK and DPRK as non-communist and comunist states.
Some "Japanese" are also concerned about the safety of relatives on the peninsula, whether these relatives are "Japanese" or "Koreans".

1. When the Empire of Japan surrendered its sovereignty to the Allied Powers on 2 September 1945, the Allied Powers recognized that Japan's sovereign dominion had consisted of the Interior (including by then Karafuto), Taiwan, and Chosen, and that its larger legal jurisdiction had included some leased and mandated territories, in addition to territories Japan had occupied and controlled without the sanction of international law.

2. Under the terms of its surrender, the Empire of Japan was reduced to "Japan" as an occupied territory, also called "Occupied Japan". This territory was limited to the prefectures of the Interior minus Okinawa and Karafuto, and a few islands affiliated with other prefectures. Taiwan (Formosa) and Chosen (Korea) were separated from Japan's legal control and jurisdiction but remained, in legal principle, part of Japan's dominion until their territorial status could be determined by treaties with successor states.

3. Occupied Japan was the foundation for the legal definition of the "Japan" that resumed being a sovereign state from 28 April 1952, when the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between Japan and the Allied Powers, came into effect. In this treaty, Japan confirmed that renounced "all right, title and claim" to Korea including three islands, Formosa and the Pescadores, and the Kuriles Islands and the portion of Sakhalin that Japan had been Karafuto.

4. Under the terms of surrender, Japan delegated its essential sovereignty to the Allied Powers, which allowed the government of Japan to continue to operate under most articles of the Meiji Chosen and domestic laws, such as they applied to the parts of the Interior that remained parts of "Japan". While Japan lost its jurisdiction over territories outside Occupied Japan, many of the laws and ordinances that had applied to Japanese nationals affiliated with these territories continued to operate in matters related to private law. Hence, for example, marriage and other status acts involving, say, Chosenese and Interiorites.

1948-1952   Formation of ROK and DPRK as conflicting entities

1952-1965Korea (Chosen) as a legacy entity
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese

"Korea" (Chosen) -- governmentally and administratively separated from Japan in 1945 -- is now territorially separated from Japan, under terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, effective from 28 April 1952.
Neither ROK nor DPRK were parties to the treaty, as "Korea" (Chosen) had been part of Japan. It had not been a state, much less a state at war with Japan.
Nor was either of the post-1948 Korean states mentioned in the treaty, which treats "Korea" (Chosen) as a legacy entity without reference to a successor state.

Effective from 28 April 1952, the state of war between Japan and each of the Allied Powers ceased.
In the treaty, Japan had formally renounced (abandoned) all rights, titles, and claims to Korea (Chosen), Taiwan, Karafuto, and related islands.
As downsized when occupied by the Allied Powers under SCAP, plus a few islands that had reverted to its jurisdiction during the Occupation, Japan regains its sovereignty and diplomatic powers.
, effective from 28 April 1952. On the first day of its regained sovereignty, Japan signs with the Republic of China a peace treaty it had previously negotated with ROC while awaiting the reversion of its sovereignty.

Chosenese (Koreans) and Taiwanese (Formosans), who in principle had continued to be Japanese nationals during the Occupation, lose Japan's nationality. Former Interiorites (prefectural affiliates) who had migrated to a Chosen or Taiwan register and thus became Chosenese or Taiwanese, before the San Francisco treaty came into effect, also lose Japan's nationality.
Japan viewed its loss of Chosen and Taiwan as cause for people affiliated with these territories to lose their Japanese nationality, which had originated from the inclusion of entities in Japan's sovereign dominion.
In the peace treaty Japan signed with ROC, the two countries bilaterally recognized that the nationality of Taiwanese in Japan was ROC's, not Japan's, business. Japan assumed that, despite the lack of a normalization treaty with ROK, which the two countries had attempted to negotiate in late 1951 and early 1952, it no longer had a say in the nationality of people in Japan who were affiliated with the former Japanese territory of Chosen.
Japan began to nominally recognized Koreans (Chosenese) to claimed have migrated to ROK nationality as ROK nationals, but this recognition had no legal effect under Japanese law until 1965, when Japan and ROK formally settled legacy issues and normalized their relationship.

Only people with registers affiliated with municipalities under Japan's jurisdiction remain Japanese. This includes former Taiwanese and Chosenese who had migrated to a prefectural (Interior) register before the effectuation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

1952-1965   Continuation of Japan-ROK normalization talks

1953-07-27   ROK and DPRK and other concerned states sign an armistice, resulting in a ceasefire and truce that continues to define the relationship between the two states.

1961 Park Chung-Hee's coup'detat

Recognition politics

1945   The Republic of China (ROC), as one of the founders of the United Nations, was an original members when the United Nations formally began on 24 October 1945.

1948   ROC and the Republic of Korea (ROK) recognized each other when ROK was founded in 1948.

1949   The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) recognize each other when PRC is founded in 1949.

1956   Japan was admitted to the United Nations on 18 December 1956.

1965   Japan and ROK have recognized each other since the normalization treaty between the two countries came into effect on 18 December 1965. Japan has not yet normalized its relations with DPRK.

1971   PRC replaced ROC as China's representative state in the United Nations, and took China's permanent seat on the Security Council, as a result of General Assembly Resolution 2758, passed on 25 October 1971. This resolution recognized PRC as the "only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations" and expelled ROC from the United Nations and all related organizations.

1972   Japan switched its recognition from the ROC to PRC in 1972.

1979   The United States switched its recognition from ROC to PRC in 1979.

1991   DPRK and ROK were simultaneously admitted to the United Nations on 17 September 1991.

1992   PRC normalized its relations with ROK, while continuing to recognize DPRK, in 1992. In return, ROK ended its recognition of ROC, which had supported ROK during the Korean War.

1965-1991Korea (Chosen) as legacy entity
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese
ROK and Japan conclude normalization treaty in which Japan recognizes ROK as the sole government of the peninsula, pursuant to UN General Assembly resolutions 26 Dec 1947 1 Jan 1948 Home Affairs Minster
→ competent minister

1965-1991   Consolidation of treaty-related alien statuses

1964-1965   The 7th round of talks between ROK and Japan begin in Tokyo on 3 December 1964 and end, successfully, on 22 April 1965.

Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Seoul on 17 February 1965. A basic treaty was drafted on 20 February, after which the two parties agreed to a few changes and reached other agreements.

Normalization treaty and agreements

22 June 1965   The normalization treaty and related agreements and protocols, including an agreement on the status and treatment of ROK nationals in Japan, are signed in Seoul.

17 December 1965   Japan promulgates Law No. 146, would would facilite the ROK-Japan agreement on the status of ROK nationals in Japan.

18 December 1965   ROK and Japan exchange ratifications of the normalization treaty and related agreements in Seoul. The normalization treaty and some of the agreements come into effect from this date.

In the normalization treaty, Japan recognized ROK as the sole government of "Korea" in English, "Chosen" (朝鮮 Chōsen) in Japanese, and "Korean peninsula" (한반도 Hanbando) in Korean.

Status agreement

1966-01-17   The status agreement between ROK and Japan, and Japan's facilitation law, come into effect.

The agreement and law provided statute rights of permanent residence for ROK nationals who had been Chosenese residents of Japan's prefectures since 15 August 1945, and qualified descendants born in the prefectures between 16 August 1945 and 16 January 1971. The dates of qualification thus include the first five years of the agreement's effectiveness.

Qualified Chosenese became eligible only if they migrated from Chosen legacy status to ROK nationality. And of course ROK would have the right, as a sovereign state recognized by Japan, to determine the qualifications for migration to its nationality.

Chosen status alien residents

Ministry of Justice reports on registered aliens in Japan classify only "Chosen" (朝鮮 Chōsen) as an affiliation, meaning the legacy (former) territory that was provisionally separated from Japan's sovereignty in 1945 and finally separated in 1952. The classification "Kankoku/Chosen" (韓国・朝鮮 Kankoku・Chōsen) would not be used until after 1965, when Japan formally recognized ROK (Kankoku) as the sole government of "Korea" (English), "Chosen" (Japanese), and "Han [J. Kan] peninsula" (Korean).

Place of birth

About half of all Koreans who had been in the prefectures of Japan after World War II, and remained in Occupied Japan, were born in the prefectures.

Koreans in Japan by place of birth, 1930-1974

         Total     Japan (  %  )     Korea   Other  

1930   419,009    34,154 ( 8.15)   384,855
1950   464,277   231,906 (49.95)   232,371
1959   607,533   390,098 (64.21)   215,160   2,275
1964   578,572   395,907 (68.43)   180,842   1,823
1969   603,712   437,216 (72.42)   165,228   1,268
1974   638,806   483,185 (75.64)   154,054   1,567

Figures from Mindan 1978 (p 385), Mindan 1979 (p 281),
and Hōmushō Nyūkoku Kanri Kyoku 1975 (pp 28-28).
My arrangement, title translations, and percents.

In the above table, "Japan" represents "Nihon" and "Korea" represents "Kankoku/Chosen" in both Mindan and MOJ sources. However, MOJ sources before 1965 use only "Chosen" when referring to what had been part of Japan in 1930 and was not separated from Japan, provisionally until 1945 and fully in 1952.

ROK and DPRK were not founded until 1948, and Japan did not recognize ROK until 1965. However, practically all of people in this table who are tallied as having been born in "Korea" -- meaning "Kankoku/Chosen" -- were born in Chosen when it was part of Japan. In other words, they were born in Japan. Moreover, they were born as Japanese and did not lose their Japanese nationality until 28 April 1952.

Period of birth

Several post-Occupation reports on aliens registered in Japan show place of birth by period of birth statistics, with lines drawn on or before 2 September 1945 (Before Occupation), from 3 September 1945 to 28 April 1952 (Occupation), and on or after 29 April 1952 (After Occuption). Here is the breakdown as of 1 April 1974.

Koreans in Japan by place and period of birth, 1974

                      Total   Japan (  %  )    Korea  Other Unknown

Before Occupation  282,862  134,423 (21.04)  147,516    193     730   
During Occupation   92,579   88,964 (13.93)    3,380     79     156   
 After Occupation  259,689  259,287 (40.59)    2,967    133     269   
          Unknown      709      511 ( 0.08)      191      3       4     

            Total  638,806  483,185 (75.64)  154,054    408   1,159 

Figures from Hōmushō Nyūkoku Kanri Kyoku 1975 (pp 28-28).
My arrangement, title translations, and percents.

The dates delimiting what I have called Before, During, and After Occupation are those which have defined legal measures related to Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration when signing the general surrender (1945), and the enforcement of the terms in the San Francisco Peace Treaty (1952).

1959 passport data

MOJ's 1960 report on alien residents as of 1 April 1959 show that among 607,533 Chosen aliens, the records of only 0.12 percent (738) included numbers passports or equivalent documents. In other words, 99.88 percent (606,795) had no passports. I would guess that the passport holders were Koreans who had been admitted to Japan after ROK was established in 1948. As ROK nationals under ROK law, they would have come to Japan with ROK passports.

The above percents are my computations from annual Ministry of Justice reports.

Though Japan could not recognize ROK's nationality, it could and did recognize documents required by aliens legally entering Japan, including passports issued by states Japan did not recognize. And such documents, including passports of unrecognized states, would have been described on municipal alien registration cards -- as, in fact, they are today.

1959 and 1964 provincial address data

Ministry of Justice statistics on aliens registered in Japan's municipalities as of 1 April 1959 show that, among 607,533 Chosen (legacy) status alien residents that year, 96.9 percent (588,784) had addresses in ROK-controlled provinces, while 1.70 percent (10,342) had addresses in DPRK-controlled provinces, and the addresses of 1.38 percent (8,407) were uncertain or unknown.

1 April 1964 figures -- reflecting the "repatriation" of roughly 76,000 Koreans between 1959 and 1964 -- show that, of 578,572 Chosen (legacy) status alien residents that year, 97.6 percent (564,940) had addresses in provinces in ROK, while 1.40 percent (8,113) had addresses in provinces in DPRK, and the addresses of 0.95 percent (5,519) were uncertain or unknown.

31 December 2008 breakdowns of 589,239 "Kankoku/Chosen" registered aliens by province of their address of record were 98.1 percent southern provinces (577,809), 0.47 percent northern provinces (2,769), and 1.47 percent uncertain or unknown (8,661).

The above tallies and percents are my computations from annual Ministry of Justice reports.

1965 and 1970 Kankoku / Chosen statusese

The following statistics show breakdowns of Kankoku / Chosen statuses for the years 1965-1970, according to entries on alien registration data.

                  Number             Percent
         Total    Kankoku   Chosen   Kankoku  Chosen

1965   580,072    231,212  348,860      39.9    60.1 
1970   608,489    314,407  294,082      51.7    48.3 

Two important conclusions can be drawn from these and other statistics.

All but RESUME

1991-2999Korea (Chosen) as legacy entity
Korea Japan Koreans Japanese
Law 195 17 Dec 1947 15 Feb 1948 competent minister
→ Attorney General

1991-2999   Singularization of treaty-related alien statuses

1991-09-17   ROK and DPRK simultaneously admitted to United Nations. Though the two states continue to claim the same territory and nation, their admission to the United Nations tacitly implies that the two entities are recognized as states which have jurisdiction over different nationals affiliated with different territories.

ROK and DPRK have yet to sign a treaty ending what remains, technically, a state of war suspended by 1953 armistice.

1991-11-01   Special Permanent Resident law comes into force. The law defined uniform qualifications for all aliens in Japan, regardless of their nationality, whose status was based on the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty and related agreements. Most SPRs are ROK nationals, but about 50 other nationalities are represented.


Chosen legacies



Wagner on Koreans in Japan

Edward W. Wagner, in his 1951 study of The Korean Minority in Japan, 1904-1950 (New York: International Secretariat, Institute of Pacific Relations), concluded his introduction with the following observation of and expression of hope (page 3, underscoring mine).

Meanwhile the forthcoming peace treaty with Japan would do well to contain provisions designed to ease the entry of individual Koreans into Japanese citizenship status. If practical considerations of the moment permit, Koreans should be given a clear option of electing Japanese or Korean citizenship, and all possible guarantees should be established to militate against the continuation of discriminatory practices on the part of the Japanese, and also against exploitation by Koreans of dual nationality status. Although the Korean problem in Japan is relatively minor, it is one which merits the continuing attention of the United States. It is a problem for the solution of which the United States cannot avoid accepting major responsibility. The issue is one which the rest of Asia may well watch to determine how closely American professed aims and actual performance coincide.

This sounds like a wonderful statement until it is closely examined in the light of contemporary conditions that should have been apparent to Wagner. The importance of his statement, nearly six decades later, is that many people who are writing today about "the Korean minority" or "Koreans in Japan" -- or "Zainichi" or whatever -- are making the same mistakes.

"individual Koreans"

By "Koreans" Wagner would seem to mean "Chosenese" -- or people affiliated with family registers associated with the Japanese territory of Chosen, then no longer under Japan's control or jurisdiction. It had, in fact, been divided into two occupied territories, which gave birth to two Korean states -- the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north.

Both Koreas, which claimed the same territory and affiliated people, were then at war.

By "Koreans" Wagner could only have meant "Chosenese"

"entry into Japanese citizenship status"

It is not clear what Wager means by "citizenship" as there was then, and there is today, no citizenship in Japanese law. Presumably he is speaking as an American, with reference to "citizenship" in the United States, which in international law is merely "nationality". The United States, in fact, has a "nationality" law, not a "citizenship" law.

Chosenese (Koreans), under Japanese law, were Japanese nationals, although under ordinances that reflected polices of Allied Powers under the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), Koreans, Taiwanese, and some other Japanese were provisionally being treated as aliens for border control and registration purposes.

In other words, Koreans could not have gained Japanese nationality. They could only have lost the Japanese nationality they already had.

In order to remain Japanese nationals upon the ceding of Chosen (Korea) away from Japan in a treaty, Chosenese (Koreans) in Japan would have had to migrate from their Chosen (Korean) registers to a municipal register in a Japanese prefecture. Migration to a prefectural municipal register would have made them subject to the Family Register Law, which would have qualified them to vote in municipal, prefectural, and national elections. However, such migration would also have obliged them to submit to the provisions of Japanese family law regarding statuses and names in family registers, and status migrations (such as through marriage or adoption) between registers.

"electing Japanese or Korean citizenship"

There was no "Korean citizenship". There were two Korean states, and neither provided for "citizenship".

Wagner appears to be viewing Japan, and the two Koreas, through the lense of popular American beliefs about "citizenship" and even the "individual".

At the time Wagner wrote his introduction, it was not envisioned that the peace treaty would resolve the status of Koreans or Taiwanese in Japan. Neither ROK nor DPRK were qualified to participate in the treaty. As one of the big four Allied Powers in the war against the Empire of Japan, the Republic of China (ROC) was technically qualified, but its status had been compromised by the founding in 1949 of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which displaced ROC in China's mainland provinces and drove the ROC government into exile on Taiwan -- which ROC had occupied as a representative of the Allied Powers.

Regarding Koreans in Japan, however, SCAP had already taken the position that Japan and the Korean states would have to negotiate their own settlements. Chosenese could not have migrated to the nationality of either ROK or DPRK before Japan had established normal relations with one, the other, or both of these.

At the time Wagner published his report, the two Koreas were and there was no end in sight. One is always free to hope -- but there was absolutely no reason then to think -- that the two Koreas could have have agreed to offering choices of nationality -- even if they had not been at war.

Personal and familial constraints on choice

In any event, it is far from clear how many Koreans in Japan would have welcomed a mandate of choice between keeping their Japanese nationality, or migrating to either ROK or DPRK nationality. Political loyalties divided individuals and families, and feelings were further complicated by the fact that political loyalties (ROK or DPRK) were commonly at odds with geographical ancestry (south or north).

Compounding the political and geographical contraints of nationality choice as a state affiliation, and arguably more important, were the constraints imposed by individual family circumstances. Wagner's "the Korean minority" was singular only with respect to its definitive civil status as a "liberated" classification of Japanese national -- and in the sense that most Koreans who had stayed in the prefectures had chosen to remain.

In all other respects "the Korean minority" was complex in that (1) most Koreans in the prefectures were totally settled there, (2) most apparently preferred uncertainties of what was familiar to them in the prefectures to the uncertainties of the unknowns on the peninsula, (3) about half were born in the prefectures, (4) some were not of Korean territorial ancestry, and (5) some were of mixed Korean and prefectural or other territorial ancestries.

"Koreans of dual nationality status"

Wagner appears to think that Koreans in Japan would somehow become dual nationals. There were, at the time, no "Koreans of dual nationality status" if by this Wagner meant people with both "Korean nationality" and "Japanese nationality".

It was also unrealistic (even inconceivable) that treaty settlements between Japan, and ROK and/or DPRK, would have allowed Chosenese to retain their Japanese nationality while acquiring either ROK or DPRK nationality. As it turned out, Japan outrighted reject a proposal by ROK that Japan regard Chosenese in Japan as its nationals while treating them the same as Japanese nationals -- which would not have constituted dual nationality, but what is called "national treatment".

"practical considerations"

It was precisely very powerful "practical considerations" of legal and political realities that prevented Japan from unilaterally offering Chosenese in Japan the option of remaining Japanese when the "forthcoming peace treaty" came into effect in 1952.

The main legal reality was that, since Japanese nationality had come territorial annexation, Japanese nationality would naturally be lost upon territorial separation.

The main political reality was the widespread view among Koreans -- and even among the Allied Powers, which before the war had generally recognized the annexation of Korea as Chosen in 1910 -- that Japan had forced the annexation, and usurped Korean nationalty by imposing Japanese nationality on Chosenese.

Between the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951 and its effectuation in 1952, Japan and ROC, which was not a party to the treaty, successfully negotiated their own agreement regarding Taiwan in a treaty which the two states signed on the same day the San Francisco treaty came into effect. The territorial transfer of Taiwan to Japan in 1895 had also been recognized by the Allied Powers or their predecessor states.

Similar negotiations during this period between Japan and ROK had disrailed, largely because of ROK's unreasonable demands, including the demand -- while at war with DPRK -- that Japan consider all Chosenese in Japan as nationals of ROK, in recognition of ROK's claim, backed by the United Nations, and recognized by the United States, as the only legal government on the peninsula.

It was under these circumstances that, a week before the San Francisco treaty would come into effect, the Japanese government issued a notification that, upon the treaty's effectuation, persons affiliated with the non-prefectural territories that Japan would lose because of the treaty -- i.e., Chosenese and Taiwanese, as affiliates of Chosen and Taiwan -- would lose their Japanese nationality.

It was also "practical considerations" that had caused the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to speak of the "welfare" of "liberated people" and "the rights of any person of any nationality in regard to retention, relinquishment or choice of citizenship" (SCAP statement, 20 November 1946) -- while SCAP itself was operating under orders from Washington, D.C. which excluded "Koreans and Chinese Formosans" from "Japanese" (Joint Chiefs of Staff, 3 November 1945) -- and while Japan was operating under similar directives from SCAP (SCAPIN-224, 1 November 1945; SCAPIN-677, 29 January 1946; SCAPIN-746, 17 February 1946.

In my humble opinion, the most humanitarian gesture on Japan's part -- having yet to conclude a treaty with either Korean state, notwithstanding the fact that it had agreed with ROC that ROC's nationality laws would govern the nationality of Taiwanese including those in Japan -- would have been to treat Chosense as the Japanese nationals they were, until which time proper treaties could be made with one or the other or both Koreas -- at which time choices could have offerred. The most rational legal and even diplomatic choice, however, was to denationalize Chosenese in recognition of the fact that Japan took seriously its loss of sovereignty over Chosen as a territory, and therefore could no longer presume to have the authority to regard Chosen affiliates as its nationals.

February 1951

Wagner's preface is dated "Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 1951". The Korean War was raging -- with the US and several other countries, including the Republic of China (ROC), supporting ROK under the flag of the United Nations, and the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China (PRC) backing DPRK.

There was zero hope that the United States and the Soviet Union, the states primarily responsible for the division of Korea (Chosen) in the first place, would be able to put aside their ideological differences to pressure the two Koreas to end their feud and come to terms in order to faciliate an Allied initiative in the peace treaty with Japan regarding the status of Korea (Chosen) and its affiliates on the peninsula and elsewhere. It was also clear by that time that ROC, though one of the major Allied Powers in the war against Japan, would not be able to join the peace treaty, hence the need to negotiate a separate treaty with Japan after the provisions of Allied treaty became clear.

"Korean problem"

The "Korean problem" was indeed, as Wagner remarks, a minor one in the greater sweep of events then embroiling the world and especially East Asia. Edwin O. Reischauer, in his foreword to Wagner's 1951 report, essentially agreed with this assessment, though he saw Koreans in Japan as a source of "annoying complications" -- and "irritation and embarrassment" -- to Americans in both Japan and Korea (see next section).

"American professed aims"

What exactly were "American professed aims" in Asia? By what stretch of the imagination could the United States have been responsible for the welfare of a minority in a country it continued to racialize in its own immigration and naturalization policy? Why should the United States be expected to perform in Japan the sort of miracles it had yet to perform among its own "unassimilable" minorities -- as Reischauer, in his foreword to Wagner's report, calls Koreans in Japan (see next section). Especially if, as Wagner later observed, "as a result of increasing depredations, real and alleged, committed by the Koreans, the early sympathetic attitude of the Occupation toward the Koreans was changed to one of impatience and hostility" (page 41)?

By 1951, the United States was seriously bogged down in a civil war it had helped set up by agreeing to divide the occupation of the Korean peninsula -- then practically invited by recognizing only ROK and withdrawing most of its forces from the country. The US was also engaged in keeping ROC and PRC from continuing their civil war across the Taiwan Straits, helping France in its efforts to resume its colonial control over Vietnam.

The US was anxious to end the Allied Occupation of Japan, which had become an essentially American project and burden. The US also, because of the stance it was making against communism in Pacific Asia, wanted to conclude with Japan a military alliance that would secure the future of American military bases in the country.

Negotiations led by the United States between the Allied Powers and Japan regarding a peace treaty, and negotiations between the US and Japan concerning a military alliance, had already begun in earnest. Both would, in fact, be signed the same day later that year, on 8 September 1951, in San Francisco.

The last thing the United States would have wanted to do -- at the time Wagner was writing his report on Koreans in Japan -- was to complicate its own interests by meddling in Japan's affairs on the behalf of Koreans in Japan -- about which, if we take Reischauer's reasons for promoting Wagner's report at face value (see below), the US was not in a position to really understand -- out of sheer "inadequacy of . . . knowledge . . . about Asia" to say nothing about the interests of Koreans in Japan.

It is clear from developments on the peninsula that the leader's of the two Koreans unable to agree on the best interests of Koreans on the peninsula. And it is clear from Wagner's report that there was little capacity for agreement in Japan, among Chosenese, regarding their best interests -- individual or collective.


Reischauer on Koreans in Japan

Edwin O. Reischauer, in his short foreword to Wagner's report, refers to "Korean minorities" -- by which he means that there is more than one "Korean minority" in Northeast Asia.

This becomes apparent in the following two remarks about the "Korean problem" in Japan (page i, [braketed numbers] and underscoring mine).

[1] The Koreans in postwar Japan have created many annoying complications for the American occupation forces, and the seemingly insoluble problem of their presence in Japan as an unassimilable minority will continue to cause bitterness between certain elements among the Japanese and Korean peoples, if not between their respective governments.

[2] The communists apparently have been able to make effective use of the Korean minority in Manchuria; the Koreans in Japan, meanwhile, have remained a source of irritation and embarrassment to American groups in Japan and to the United Nations forces in Korea.

At the start of his foreword, dated "Harvard University, May 3, 1951", Reischauer had stated that "We [Americans] have not been fully prepared for the grave responsibilities which have been forced upon us in Asia" (page i). He proceeds to promote Wagner's report as a contribution to gaining more knowledge about the Korean minoirity in Japan -- which he, Reischauer, concludes is a "small but significant aspect of the great problem we face in Asia" (page i).


Third nationals

During the postwar Occupation, people affiliated with former non-prefectural subnations were called "daisankokujin" or "third-country nationals". These expressions, now considered somewhat discriminatory, reflect the distinction made by the Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP) between people in Japan whose nationality was linked with neither an Allied or friendly state (first nation) nor a former enemy state (second nation), but with a territory Japan had lost under the terms of surrender.

In principle, "third nationals" referred to people affiliated with Chōsen (Korea) and Taiwan (Formosa), which had been integral parts of Japan's sovereign territory. The term may sometimes also have embraced people affiliated with other territories that had been under Japan's legal control, such as the Pacific islands, which had been mandated to Japan after World War I, and even to nationals of Manchoukuo, though formally it was an independent country. Because Karafuto had been prefecturalized, and was treated differently in postwar settlements, mostly "third nationals" referred to people affiliated with the former subnations of Chōsen and Taiwan.

Japan did not have the authority to unilaterally determine the nationality status of third nationals. The nationality status of those in Chōsen and Taiwan was not an issue in the eyes of the governments that were established in Chōsen, or the Republic of China, which received Taiwan. They naturally viewed everyone in their own population registers, including those residing outside Chōsen and Taiwan, as being their nationals.

The status of third nationals in Japan was an issue because, since they were in Japan, they were legally under Japanese law. And Japanese law would continue to reflect both the treaties that had made Taiwan and Chōsen parts of Japan, and the laws based on those treaties, until which time new treaties were concluded and new laws based on the new treaties were effected.

In the meantime, there were several kinds of third nationals in Japan during the postwar years. Most had been in the prefectures at the end of the war and continued to reside there. Some had been elsewhere when the war ended, but had been domiciled in the prefectures so returned there with other repatriates. Some, though, had migrated to the prefectures from Chōsen and Taiwan, or from other parts of the far flung former empire, during the confusion of the postwar years, when it was relatively easy to slip in and out of ports of entry, illegally if not legally.


Chosenese ghosts


Status of subnationals today

Japan eventually took the position, not unilaterally but with the explicit or tacit approval of ROC and ROK, that former subjects of Taiwan and Korea in Japan would no longer be Japanese. The confirmation of their nationality would be at the mercy of ROC and ROK nationality laws and policies. Those not in ROC or ROK would have to confirm their nationality by registering at an ROC or ROK mission. Otherwise they would be essentially stateless.

Mindan, an organization of Koreans in Japan founded in 1946, facilitated the acquisition of ROK nationality by Koreans in Japan who wanted to be ROK nationals after ROK was founded in 1948. "Mindan" comes from "Zai Nihon Dai-kan-min-koku-min dan" -- which means "Association of Republic of Korea nationals in Japan" though the official name is reduced to "Korean Residents Union of Japan".

Former "Chosenjin" subnationals who registered with Mindan and were recognized as ROK nationals became "Kankokujin" in Japanese. Those who did not remained "Chosenjin" as far as their alien registration status was concerned. And because "Chosenjin" are unable to obtain a passport (or a passport Japan would recognize), they continue to be virtually stateless.

Special Permanent Residence status

Japan has also taken the position, again with the understanding of ROC and ROK over the decades, that former Japanese of Taiwanese and Korean subnationality, who have been residing in the prefectures since the war ended, and their Japan-born and Japan-raised non-Japanese descendants, should receive preferential treatment in matters of immigration and alien registration. Former subnationals not in Japan at the end of war and their non-Japanese descendents have been treated like other aliens.

Today prefential treatment begins with a right of abode called Special Permanent Residence. Some elements of citizenship also come with SPR status.

SPR status is not limited to qualified Taiwanese and Koreans (including both "Kankokujin" and "Chosenjin"), but is available to any alien Japan recognizes as a subject of a World War II peace treaty settlement. Though predominately nationals of Korea (Kankoku/Chosen) or China (Chugoku), SPR status holders include nationals of about fifty countries, representing all continents, and some stateless people.


Diet committee hearings

The series of treaties concluded by Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1965 cover all manner of subjects. I am concerned here only with the status of Chosenese in Japan as settled by the general normalization treaty and the specific treaty on status.

The status of Chosenese was discussed and debated in the Judicial Affairs Committee (法務委員会 Homu Iinkai) of both the House of Representatives (衆議院 Shugiin) and the House of Councillors (参議院 Sangiin) of the Nationality Diet of Japan (Kokkai). The minutes of the meetings of such committees are reported in the daily Proceedings of the National Diet (国会会議録 Kokkai Kaigiroku).

Diet proceedings

Full texts of the proceedings for the Imperial Diet (帝国議会 Teikoku Gikai) are available in image files for from December 1938 (74th session) to June 1945 (87th session), and in text and image files for from September 1945 (88th session) to March 1947 (92nd session), at 帝国議会会議録検索システム (Teikoku Gikai Kaigiroku kensaku system) or "Imperial Diet Proceedings search system" database managed by the National Diet Library (国立国会図書館 Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan).

Full texts of the proceedings for the National Diet (国会 Kokkai) are available in text and image files for from May 1947 (1st session) to the present at 国会会議録検索システム (Kokkai Kaigiroku kensaku system) or "National Diet Proceedings search system" database, also managed by the National Diet Library.


1963 Hiraga and Nakagaki testimony

After the the coup d'etat of Park Chung-hee in the Republic of Korea in 1961, the ROK government, under Park's presidency, adopted a more realistic stance regarding the conditions it would expect Japan to meet upon agreeing to establish normal relations between the two countries. By 1965, they were signing both a normalization treaty and an agreement concerning the status of ROK nationals in Japan.

A number of Japanese government hearings were held during the period that the provisions of the treaty and agreement were being finalized. One of the more revealing, in terms of how the Japanese government viewed the status of Chosenese in Japan -- meaning persons who were legally affiliated with family registers in the former Japanese territory of Chosen -- was the 3rd hearing of the Judicial Affairs Committee of the House of Councillors, held during the 43rd Session of the National Diet, on the afternoon of Tuesday, 5 February 1963.

The principle representatives of the Ministry of Justice were Nakagaki Kunio (中垣國男 1911-1987) and Hiraga Kenta (平賀健太 1912-2004). Nakagaki, as the Minister of Justice, was the political leader of the ministry. Hiraga, though, was the ministry's resident expert on nationality law.

Nakagaki, an LDP-affiliated member of the House of Representatives representative politician, was then the Minister of Justice, in the Cabinet of Ikeda Hayato from July 1962 to July 1963. In the hearings, Nakagaki makes the clearest statement I have seen regarding Japan's understanding of the legal status of Chosenese in Japan -- meaning people who were affiliates of family registers associated with the former Japanese territory of Chosen.

Hiraga Kenta (1912-2004), a retired judge at the time of his death, had been a career Ministry of Justic legalist and prosecution counsel. At the time of the hearings, he appears to have been Director-General of the Civil Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Justice (circa 1960-1966). Shortly after the promulgation of the postwar Nationality Law in 1950, Hiraga wrote what remained, for nearly a quarter of century, the bible on nationality law in Japan. See Hiraga 1950 for more details about his two-volume book and life.

The structural translations of selected parts of Hiraga's and Nakagaki's testimonies, and the gossary of keywords that appear in the hearings, are mine.

Hiraga Kenta and Nakagaki Kunio on Koreans in Japan
1963 testimony in House of Councillors Judicial Affairs Committee

Japanese text

The following Japanese text is a slightly reformatted version of text retrieved from the 国会会議録検索システム (Kokkai Kaigiroku kensaku system) or "National Diet Proceedings search system" database managed by the National Diet Library (国立国会図書館 Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan).

English translations

The translation is mine (William Wetherall). Because the purpose here is to reflect the stream of thinking of the discussants, I have not translated their various manners of speech structurally. However, I have structually translated all expressions of legal significance -- meaning all legal terms, and both the formal and informal appelations and labels used for countries and for persons associated with countries.


As the main point of this exercise is to dramatize how usage reflects legal if not also political point of view, I am strictly differentiating terms that are commonly conflated in popular and even scholarly translation.

Note that some Japanese terms have different English tags depending on whether they refer to a historical or legacy entity (e.g., 朝鮮 (Chosen) as a subnation of Japan from 1910 to 1945, and as a legacy reference to this former subnation, or whether theyu refer to a present entity (e.g., 朝鮮 (Chosen) as an informal reference to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK.

General terms

人          person(s)
方          person(s)
人民        people
公民        citizen
人間        human

国          country (informal)
国家        state (formal)
国民        national
国籍        nationality
国籍欄      nationality box
無国籍      stateless

Historical and legacy entities and affiliations

大日本帝国  Empire of Japan
日本        Japan
日本臣民    Subject of Japan
日本人      Japanese

大韓帝国    Empire of Korea
韓国        Korea
韓国人      Korean(s)

朝鮮        Chosen
朝鮮半島    Chosen peninsula
朝鮮籍      Chosen register (affiliation)
朝鮮人      Chosenese
南朝鮮      South Chosen (south part of Chosen)
南朝鮮人    South Chosenese
北朝鮮      North Chosen (north part of Chosen)
北朝鮮人    North Chosenese 

Present entities and affiliations

日本        Japan (informal)
日本国      Japan (formal)
日本人      Japanese (informal)
日本国民    National of Japan (formal)

大韓民国  Republic of Korea (formal)
韓国        ROK (informal, as this entity)
韓国籍      ROK register (affiliation)
大韓民国国民  National of Republic of Korea (formal)
大韓国民    ROK national (informal)
韓国人      ROKorean (informal)
南朝鮮      South Korea (extremely informal)
南朝鮮国    South Korean (extremely informal)

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (formal)
朝鮮        DPRK (informal, as this entity)
北朝鮮人民民主主義共和国 (informal) [error]
People's Democratic Republic of North Chosen [error]
北朝鮮      North Korea (extremely informal)
北朝鮮人    North Korean (extremely informal)

Aliens in Japan

在日外国人   aliens in Japan
在日朝鮮人   Chosenese (legacy status) in Japan
在日韓国人   ROKoreans (nationality status) in Japan
第三国人     third nationals
在日第三国人 third nationals in Japan


National Diet, 43rd Session
House of Councillors
Judicial Affairs Committee
No. 3


5 February 1963 (Tuesday)
Convened 1:14 PM

  松野 孝一君
  稲葉 誠一君
  和泉  覚君
  杉浦 武雄君
  田中 啓一君
  吉武 恵市君
  亀田 得治君
  大和 与一君
  岩間 正男君
  法務大臣 中垣 國男君
  郵政大臣 小沢久太郎君
  法務省民事局長 平賀 健太君
  法務省刑事局長 竹内 壽平君
  法務省入国管理局長 小川清四郎君
  常任委員会専門員 西村 高兄君
  法務省入国管理局次長 富田 正典君
  郵政省電波監理局放送部長 石川 忠夫君
  郵政省電波監理局放送業務課長 太原 幹夫君


理事(松野孝一君)   稲葉君。

稲葉誠一君   この前外国人登録法、出入国管理令の法的地位に関連をしてお聞きしたわけですが、このときは予算委員会の関係で法務大臣はお出にならなかったですが、おそらくそのときの議事録はお読みになったと、こう思うのです。そこで、あのときの答弁の内容について訂正なりあるいは補足すべき点があれば、法務大臣あるいは入管の局長からひとつ最初に述べていただきたいと思います。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   前回の本委員会におきまして、稲葉議員さんの御質問に対しまして答弁の不十分な点も相当ございましたと思いますので、順序はやや混淆しておるかもしれませんが、大体おもな点につきまして二、三の点を補足的に御説明申し上げたいと思います。




稲葉誠一君   ただ、最後の点については富田次長から説明があるのはけっこうなんですが、何か聞くところによりますと、法務大臣は、工合が悪いのですか。かぜ気味だとか……。私大臣のほうを早くやって――そうですが。人権を尊重しないとあとでたいへんなことになるから……。それじゃ、法務大臣に関係することだけちょっと先にお聞きしたいと思います。


国務大臣(中垣國男君)   入管局長と民事局長が朝鮮に参りましたのは、日韓交渉の代表委員の中の一人として行ったと思うのでございまして、まあ当然こういう朝鮮人の法的地位等の問題が議題になるのでありますから、朝鮮の実情を知っておく必要があるという意味で、命じて朝鮮の実情をよく調べていただいたと、こういうことでございます。

稲葉誠一君   法的地位の問題というふうなことを言われたのですが、一体、日韓交渉、特に法的地位を取り扱うのは、これはどこで取り扱うことになっているのですか。具体的な法的地位の専門委員会がこれはあしたから開かれるわけでしょう、分科会がね。具体的にこちらのほうの委員はどなたなんで、韓国側はどなたなんで、どこが一体主管官庁みたいになっているのですか。それに対する法務大臣の関与する限度は一体どこまであるのですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   法的委員会の委員には、日本政府からは民事局長と入管局長の二人が正式に委員に指名されておるわけでございます。政府から指名を受けておるわけでございます。




稲葉誠一君   その民事局長と入管の局長が専門委員ですかになっておるのはわかったんですが、韓国側はどういう人が来て、どういうふうになっているのかということと、それから一体法的地位の主管官庁といいますか、これは、法務省なんですか、外務省なんですか。民事局長と入管局長はもちろん法務省の人でしょうけれども、そこはどういうふうになっているのですか。どうもはっきりしませんからお尋ねするのですが……。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   民事局長から答弁をさせます。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   韓国側の代表はひんぱんに交代がございまして、私どもも詳しく名前を覚えておりませんが、現在法的地位の関係で私どもの交渉の相手になっていられる方は、弁護士の李天祥という方でございます。その方と私ども折衝を行なっております。日韓交渉の日本側は杉首席以下任命されておるわけでございますが、外務省からもアジア局長、条約局長なんかやはり委員に出ておられまして、法的地位の交渉の際の日常のいつもやります場合には、私どものほうでは入省局長と私がやりますし、韓国側は李天祥でありますが、外務省の関係の代表の方とは常時緊密に連絡をいたしておるわけであります。

Government member (Hiraga Kenta)   The representatives on the ROK side are frequently changed, and I don't remember their names in detail, but now the person who is my opponent in negotiation, is a person called I Chŏnsang, an attorney. This person and I conduct parleys [negotiations]. The Japan side of the Japan-ROK negotiations is appointed under chief Sugi, but from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Directory of the Asia Bureau and the Director of the Treaties Bureau of course appear as members [delegates], and in cases as always done on occasions of negotiations of legal status, I and the Director of the [Immigration Bureau ?] do negotiations, and the ROK side is I Chŏnsang, and [I] keep steady and close contact with the representatives connected with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

稲葉誠一君   私はこの問題を扱うのが、外務委員会で扱うのがいいか法務委員会で扱うのがいいのかというのはちょっと疑問でもありますし、これは大臣に聞いたって聞くのがおかしいかわかりませんが、その点があれですからお聞きしておるのですが、それはいずれにしても――そこで大臣にお尋ねしたいのですが、出入国管理令をいわば大幅に改正をするというか、そういうふうなことが世上伝えられている。私は去年の十二月の二十何日かのテレビでそのことを見たのです。二十何日でしたか、あくる日の新聞には出ておらなかった。朝日新聞にことしになって一月六日にその記事が出ておるのですが、今の出入国管理令あるいは外国人登録法、これらのものを改正をするということは、具体的に今どの程度に進んでおるのかということをひとつお尋ねしたいわけです。まず、それだけお尋ねしておきます。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   お答えいたします。


稲葉誠一君   今の改正はしかし去年あたりから具体的に着手しているんじゃないですか。どうですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   それでは、大臣にかわりまして、私どものやっております作業につきまして、ちょっと御報告申し上げます。この問題は、ずっと以前から部内でももちろん検討を続けておりましたのでございますが、はっきりした改正準備委員会というふうなものを入管局で作りましたのは、一昨年の春でございます。それに対しまして調査的なわずかな予算も三十六年度以降ついておりますので、目下鋭意検討中、こういう状況であります。

稲葉誠一君   その今の改正は、大臣、日韓会談と一体関係があるんですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   日韓交渉等にはかかわりなくこの問題は現在の入管令というものを改正する必要があるんじゃなかろうかということから始まったのでありまして、日韓問題の交渉のために入管令を改正しなければならぬ、そういう意味から改正の検討にかかったものではないと思います。

稲葉誠一君   しかし、最初に小川局長が言ったのは、昭和二十六年にポツダム政令のときに鈴木という入管の長官ですね、その当時はそれをすぐ改正をしようと言ったのは、その当時日韓会談が始まっておって、あの当時としては今にも妥結するような情勢だった、だから日韓会談待ちという形で改正のお話をしたんだということを言っておるわけですね。小川さんは非常に正直な人だからそういうことを言ったんだろうと思うんですけれども、そういうことからいってみても、日韓会談と関連をしての出入国管理令の改正ということが当然筋道として起きてきたと考えるのがあたりまえじゃないですか。時期的にもちゃんと合っているじゃないですか。そのために入管の局長なり民事局長というのが韓国へそのこともあるから行ったんじゃないですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   お答えします。


稲葉誠一君   改正のことについて最初入管の局長が言われたのは、二つのことを言われたわけですが、一つは、簡易合理化、あとのほうは、国及び国民の利益から管理するということを言われたわけですね。その特にあとのほうの国民の利益から管理するというのは、一体具体的にどういうことになるんでしょうか。

説明員(富田正典君)   まだ具体的にどういうふうに改正するかということは全然検討中でございますが、たとえて申し上げますならば、現在の入管令で外国人の入国を認める場合に、十六の資格が規定されてございます。で、日本に入ってこようとする外国人につきましては、そのうちのどういう資格に該当するかということを当てはめて見まして、その上で入国を許すか許さないかをきめる。その場合に、その入国資格の中に現在観光客という一つの範疇がございますが、その観光客というものなどについては、入国の要件などをうんと緩和してどんどん入れてそうして大いにひとつ外貨を落としてもらおうではないかというようなことを一つの方向として検討しております。それと同時に、長期に日本に入ってくる貿易、投資その他いろいろな商社活動をする者、そういった長期に入ってくる者につきまして、現在羽田の入国審査などの段階におきましては、きわめて短時間に審査を余儀なくされておりますが、その審査の際にはまあ簡易な手続で入国させて、自後に長期在留の、たとえば一カ月たった段階とか、そういう段階で十分その活動内容にふさわしいものであるかどうかというようなことを考えて在留期間を資格をきめるとか、いろいろな技術的にこまかい問題がございまして、どういう方法をとるべきか、どうすべきかというような問題の所在の発見、並びにAの方向、Bの方向、Cの方向といろいろあるが、どれが妥当であるかというようなことを検討しておる段階でございまして、こうしなければならないというきまったところは、まだまとまっておらないわけでございます。現在の段階におきましては、局内の意見を総合調整していくという段階でございます。

稲葉誠一君   今の次長の言われたのは、国民の利益から管理するというその国民の利益が、たとえば観光客がドルを落すとか、日本に対して投資をするとか、貿易をするとかという、まあ日本のいわば――言葉はちょっと雑ですけれども、プラスになるというふうな見方の国民の利益というふうなところを今次長は取り上げたと、こう思うわけですよ。しかし、そればかりじゃなくて、その国民の利益ということの中には、一つの非常に大きな問題として、日韓会談がかりに成立をする。そうすると、日本における永住希望者、これらについては、その数を制限をする、そして国民生活を保護するのである。それが日本の国民の利益なんだと。それから日本に永住する永住希望者というふうなものについては、日本と特別な関係がある国、特に親交状態のある国を優先的に取り扱うとか、こういうふうな形で国民の利益を守ろうというか、あるいはチェックしようとするか。こういうようなことが考えられているのじゃないですか。ですから、この国民の利益から管理するという意味の中には、日本に対する永住希望者についてはその数を制限するのだ、こういうことが一つの大きな問題として考えられているのじゃないですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   確かにただいま御指摘のとおり、そういう問題についても検討しております。ただ、その考え方に立ったある考え方といたしまして、たとえば一定の要件を備える者について永住的な移住を認めるかどうか。その認め方についても、かつて現在の日本人である者の子供とかその配偶者という者については、これはもう割当問題なしに優先的に入れていくが、そうでないたとえば離散家族であるとかそういった者については割当移住というような考え方で認めていくべきか、またはそういうような方法をとらないで無制限に入れるような建前をとるべきかどうか。そういうもろもろの点を検討しておりますわけですが、いずれの方向に持っていかなければならないという結論は、まだ出ておらない状況でございます。

稲葉誠一君   一月六日の朝日新聞の朝刊に、「出入国管理令大幅に改正、法務省で検討」という記事が出ておったのは、これは御案内のとおりだと、こう思うのですね。日本の新聞で出たのは、朝日新聞だけだと思うのですが、それを見ると、「手続を簡単に」という大きな見出しのあとに、「不良外人の取り締まり強化」、こういうようなことが書いてあるのです。このあとのほうの不良外人の取り締まり強化ということ、これは今度の出入国管理令の改正と関係があるのでしょうか。

説明員(富田正典君)   ただいまの問題につきましては、現在でも好ましからざる外国人の入国については、いろいろ配慮いたしてございます。たとえば、退去強制になった者は一年間は入れないという規定もございますので、そういう者のリストを作ってそれの入国をチェックするなど、いろいろ考慮いたしてございます。また、観光客として入ってきた者がキャバレーなどでストリップをやるというような資格外活動をする場合には、それを規制するような方法もございます。ただ、現在の規制の仕方も、非常に網の目が大きいと申しますか、在留期間を更新する段階において、あの外国人はたとえば学生として入ってきているけれども、まじめに学校に行っているのだろうか、いやパチンコ屋の店員をしているのだ、そういう者は学生としての在留を認めるわけにいかないのではないかというようなチェックの方法も講じてございますが、たとえば学校をやめてパチンコ屋に行った段階ですぐ発見するということもまた非常に困難でございます。また、そういった者が就職しようとする場合に、その雇い主のほうで無条件で雇ってしまう。現在密入国者でも簡単に雇ってしまうような状況にございます。そういった意味から申しますと、最初の在留資格をきめてそれにふさわしい活動をする外国人だけの入国を認め、そのふさわしい在留活動をさせるという面で、いろいろまだ足らない点がございます。そういう点もいろいろ学校を転校する場合には学校のほうから何らかのそういったいろいろな面で現在は抜けているところをなんとか手当しなければならぬのではなかろうか、そういう面で検討しているわけであります。

稲葉誠一君   この前私が質問したところで、きょう富田次長が答えることになっていたのを途中で別の質問に入ったのですが、各市町村役場に登録の番号があったのが、全国一律の登録番号にしたわけですね。それを今度の改正では、さらに市町村で取り扱っている外国人登録を出入国管理事務所が行なうようにするのだ、そうしてこれを一本化して、いわば中央集権にするというか、こういうようなことが改正案として考えられているようなんですが、この点はどういうふうなんでしょうか。

説明員(富田正典君)   まだそこまでは考えておりません。ただ、現在の外国人登録制度と在留管理制度との間に非常にぴったりいかない面と申しますか、たとえば、外国人が在留期間の更新の許可を入管当局から受けますと、その足で今度は市町村の役場に行って、期間更新になったということを届けなければならないというような、外国人にとって非常に不便な面がございます。また、いろいろな居住地の変更などを市町村役場に届けます。その届けたものが、やはり在留管理上必要なので、入管の事務所に参るわけでございますが、その間に非常な時間がかかる。やはり、在留する外国人の便宜のためにも、また、事務の簡素化合理化のためにも、何とかその間の両者の関係をもう少し調整していく必要がないか、そういうことを検討いたしておりますが、何せ市町村の仕事を入管の事務所に吸収するなどということは、組織の問題の上からいきましても、予算、人員の上からいきましても、非常な困難な問題がございますし、なかなか容易に結論は出せる性質のものではないと考えております。ただ、両者の関係をいかに調整すれば合理的に参るかということを検討しておる段階でございます。

稲葉誠一君   前にちょっと質問した、各市町村役場ごとの番号だったのを全国一連番号にしたと思うのですが、これはいつごろどんなことからこういうふうにしたのでしょうか。

説明員(富田正典君)   最初第一回目の登録が行なわれましたときは、各市町村で用紙、寸法ばらばらに登録証明書を印刷いたしまして、それで第一回の登録を実施したわけでございます。その結果、いかにも不体裁でもございますし、同じ番号が全国にたくさんございますわけで、二重登録であるとか、虚偽の登録であるとか、いろいろ事務上非常にまずい面が出て参りましたことと、やはり一つの国家行政でございます関係上、市町村に印刷させるということよりも、国が印刷して一括配付するということのほうが先ほど申し述べましたような意味からも望ましいというので、第二回目の登録のときから法務省が印刷いたしまして、一連番号をつけて全国に配付する、こういうことになっております。

稲葉誠一君   そうすると、結局、要点は、外国人管理の便宜上というか、効果をあらしめるためには、市町村ごとよりも、全国一連番号にして、全体の情勢を法務省当局が握っておったほうが管理の上にいいと、こういうふうに結論としては承ってよろしいわけですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   その意味と、やはり国家行政であります関係上、法務省が一元的に紙質その他統一したものを配付することが当然であるという両方の意味が含まれております。

稲葉誠一君   国家行政で一元化するということならば、市町村役場に事務を委託するのではなくて、入管が全部取り扱ったほうが、筋として一元化するし、今法務当局の考えておるいわゆる外国人管理の目的からいえば、そのほうが目的を達するのじゃないですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   この入管行政が民主的な形で発足いたしましたのは、終戦後、昭和二十五年、実際は二十六年からでございますが、その当時から、仕事の量につきましては、出入国者の数、在留資格業務の数が約十倍にふえております。それにもかかわらず、人員、予算の面ではきわめて微々たるものしかしておらない。非常に苦しい事情でございます。したがいまして、本来ならやはり国家行政でございます関係上、十分な委託費も出さないで市町村にお願いするということはまことに心苦しい結果で、そうあるべきなのが理想かもわかりませんが、現在の情勢においては、まず現在やっておる仕事を充実整備していかなければならないという方面が非常に大きな課題になっておりますので、現在のところはそこまで検討する余裕がございません。

稲葉誠一君   大臣にもう一つだけ国籍に関連することだけお伺いして、どうぞ大臣はお休みになってけっこうですが、一体、日本にいる約六十四万の外国人、そのうち九割が、これは朝鮮人というのか韓国人というのか、どうもはっきりしないわけですが、一体、朝鮮人と韓国人というのはどうやって区別するのですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   お答え致します。



Minister of State (Nakagaki Kunio) 1911年6月24日 ? 1987国務大臣(中垣國男君)   お答え致します。




稲葉誠一君   どうも、わかったといえばわかったし、わからないといえばわからない答えですがね。そうすると、結局、国籍は当然世界人権宣言なり国際法の原則からいっても当事者が選ぶ権利があることは、これは認めるわけですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   在日朝鮮人の場合に、国籍を自由に選ぶ権利があるかどうかという問題は、私は非常にむずかしい問題じゃないかと思うんです。じゃだれかが在日朝鮮人の国籍をきめるかというと、それも私はなかなかむずかしいんじゃないかと思うんです。したがって、できるだけ摩擦のないような考え方でいきますと、朝鮮半島で生まれて朝鮮籍を有する在日朝鮮人といったようなことだろうと思うんです、実際問題。ですから、本人が自分は韓国だとか韓国じゃないとか、そういうことが一体今日の現在のあれで言えるのかどうか。それを日韓交渉の内容によっては言えるようになるんじゃないかと思うんですが、今の段階では、私ははたして国籍を自由にきめることができるかどうか、これは非常にむずかしい問題だと思っております。建前としましては、国際法上国籍を選ぶ権利は当然最大の人権の一つとしてあるわけですが、在日朝鮮人の場合のみは非常にむずかしいんじゃないか、こういうふうに実は考えています。

稲葉誠一君   そうすると、外国人登録法は、外国人の身分を明らかにすることが一つの目的になっていますね。登録法第一条で、「外国人の居住関係及び身分関係を明確ならしめ、」る。その身分関係の中には国籍が入っているというのは、これは今までの入管局長の答弁だし、これは当然過ぎるくらい当然なことだと思うんです。そうすると、外国人登録の場合の国籍欄の記載はどうもはっきりしないんですが、具体的には一体どういう意味を持っているのですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   ちょっと先ほど言葉が足らなかったかもしれませんが、在日朝鮮人の場合は、朝鮮人ということで今日まで通っておるわけなんです。それで、私がなぜ在日朝鮮人が国籍を自由に選ぶことができるかどうか非常に理論的にむずかしいと申し上げたのは、たとえば三十八度を中心に考えてみて、三十八度から南に住んでおる人でも、自分は北鮮だと言う人もおるだろうし、それから三十八度から北のほうで生まれて北のほうに籍がある人でも、南だと言う人もあり得ると思うのです。そういうことを日本政府が一体決定することができるかどうかということです、本人の申し立てによりまして。そういうむずかしい問題があって、普通の外国人をただ国際法上国籍を本人の意思によって自由に定めることができる、それがそのまま適用できるかどうかというのが私は非常に在日朝鮮人の場合はむずかしい、こういうことを申し上げたのでありまして、入管令による国籍というのは、届出を出す人が朝鮮と書かれたら、今まではそのままで来ておるわけです。今後の取り扱いも、やはり韓国と書いても朝鮮と書いても同じように扱っていかなければならないのじゃないか。その差別はできないんじゃないか、その処遇につきまして。私は、そういうふうにただいまのところ考えております。

稲葉誠一君   日韓交渉は、日本と韓国との間の交渉だけです。条約がかりにできると、それは三十八度線以北の朝鮮人には効力がないわけですね。これははっきりしている。そうすると、日本にいるいわゆる在日朝鮮人、それは、いずれにいたしましても、日韓会談が成立するかどうかは別として、同時に韓国人であるかいわゆる北朝鮮人であるかを自分自身で区別するとか、あるいは日本の政府が区別するとか――日本の政府は外国人の国籍を区別するわけにいかぬでしょうから、自分自身で区別することになると思うのですが、その辺一体どういうことになるのですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   その問題を含めて先ほど実はむすかしいと申し上けたのですが、たとえば、三十八度かう南にいる者を韓国人だといって韓国政府が決定することは私はできないと思うのです。日本政府が朝鮮人をつかまえて、あんたは北鮮政府、あんたは韓国政府というふうに認定することはできない。と同時に、韓国政府も在日朝鮮人に対してはできないと思うのです。そういう点から考えて、本人みずから韓国だといって登録をされる場合も認めざるを得ないだろう。また、本人が南に住んでおろうが北に住んでおろうが、朝鮮ということで登録をされる方は、これも認めざるを得ないだろう。こういうことが、将来の問題でなくて、今田においては私はそう考えるほかない、こういうふうに実は思っております。

稲葉誠一君   三十五年の十二月二十三日ですか、やはり参議院の法務委員会で、これは入管の次長をやっている臼田彦太郎君、この人が、きょうはおられませんが後藤さんの質問に対して、こう答えているわけです。「在日朝鮮人につきましては、登録関係がございまして、韓国という表示をする者と、朝鮮と表示する者と、こうあるわけでございます。韓国という形において登録されている人たちは、一応大韓民国人という扱いをしておるのでございます。」、こう答えていますね。そうすると、外国人登録の国籍欄に韓国と書いてあれば、一応大韓国民という扱いをしているのじゃないですか。「一応」という意味もはっきりしませんが、そういうわけですね。それはどういうのですか、意味がはっきりしないのですが。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   大臣のお答えすべきところを、私からお答えさしていただきたいと思うのでありますが、外国人登録法上、つまり日本の外国人登録制度といたしましては、御承知のように、幾つかの記載事項の中の最初に国籍欄がございまして、一般の外国人から申せば、無国籍でない限りはすぐに国籍欄に記入ができるのでございますけれども、先ほど来申し上げましたように、戦前から引き続きおりまして平和条約の結果日本国籍を失った者並びにその子供につきましては、特別の状況にあるわけでございます。法律第百二十六号に該当する者は、国籍がまだ未分明と申しますか、そういう状況にあるのでございます。最初は、登録法上の扱いといたしましては、一律に朝鮮と書いておりまして、それがその後の経緯によりまして、この事情につきましては何度もお答え申し上げましたような事情がございまして、特別に韓国籍を名乗りたいという者につきましては、韓国と書かせるという事情がずっと引き続き残っておりますので、その点を稲葉先生が御指摘になったものと私は存ずるのでございますが、この問題はやがて日韓交渉の問題として問題になる点でございまして、ただいまのところ日韓協定がかりに成立しました暁におきまして在日朝鮮人に日韓協定の、具体的に申し上げますと協定上の永住権を与えるかというふうな問題につきましては、まだ双方で協議中でございますので、ただいま協定成立後を予想をしましてどういうふうな状況になるかということにつきまして、はっきりとお答えのできない状況にございますので、御了承いただきたいというふうに存じます。

稲葉誠一君   韓国という形で登録されている人は、一応大韓国民だ。それじゃ、朝鮮という形で登録されている人は一応北朝鮮人民民主主義共和国の人間だと、こういうふうにならなければ筋道が合わないんじゃないですか。そこはどういうふうになっているのですか。臼田さんがこういうふうに答えているわけでしょう。韓国という形で登録されているのは一応韓国人だと。そうなれば、それを除いたものは北朝鮮人だという形にならざるを得ないのではないですか、論理的に。どうなっているのですか。

Inaba Seiichi   A person who has been registered in the form of ROK, is provisionally an ROK affiliate. So, a person who has been registered in the form of Chosen is provisionally a human of the People's Democratic Republic of North Chosen, and if not then doesn't the reasoning not agree? What's going on there? Mr. Usuda's replying this way, I would think. Those who are registered in the form of ROK and provisionally ROKoreans. If so, then don't those except these have to be in the form of North Chosenese?, logically. What's happening?

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   国籍欄に韓国と書いてございましても、朝鮮と書いてございましても、登録法上の扱いには差別をつけないという方針でずっと来ておりまして、当時の臼田次長のお答えもその線に沿ったものと、こう存ずる次第でございます。

Government member (Ogawa Seishiro)   Whether one writes ROK in the nationality box, or whether one writes Chosen, treatment under the registration law has always been according to the policty of not discriminating [the two categories], and it is [my] understanding that the reply of then vice-director Usuda was along that line.

稲葉誠一君   韓国と書かれようが朝鮮と書かれようが特別の意味がないというなら、それを変更することも特別な意味がないわけですから、自由に認めたらいいんじゃないですか。これはどういうわけで認めないのですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   その点につきましても、従来入管側からいろいろ御説明を申し上げておると存じますのですが、韓国という字を使う場合には、まあ種々の事情もございましたけれども、きわめてまれな場合に認めるという状況で、その方針で続けてきておりますのですが、やはり国内におきまするいろいろな摩擦とか紛議とかいうものがこういった国籍欄の記載の仕方によりましていろいろ起こってくるということにつきましては、日本政府といたしましても十分にこの問題に巻き込まれると申しますか、そういうことはできるだけ避けたいというので、現在におきましてはなるべく特別の場合を除きまして、国籍欄の記載の変更はなるべく避けさせたいという方針でずっと来ております。

稲葉誠一君   特別な理由がない限りは変更させない、これは二十六年の二月からでしょう。そうですね。特別な理由がかりにあって変更した場合には、これを一々本省に上げろということにいたしております。これは富田さんが岩間さんの質問に対して去年の十一月一日に答えておられますね。「指令によって書きかえを認めたのですが、そのため起こる摩擦がひどいために、二十六年の二月から特別の事由がない限り朝鮮から韓国、韓国から朝鮮、これについても認めないように、特別な事由がない限り。そうして受理した場合には本省に上げろということにいたしております。」、こういうように富田次長が答弁しているわけですね。この国籍欄の記載が大臣の言うように何ら意味がないのであるというならば、何らそれを変えることも自由であると思うし、かりに変えたところで一々それを本省まで引き上げてきて本省へ報告させるとか、そういうようなことまでしなければならないという理由は一体あるのでしょうか。大臣、どうでしょうか。実際どうやっているのですか、その取り扱いは。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   お答えいたします。


稲葉誠一君   いや、その変更を認めないなら認めないで、これは一つの考え方ですから、これは事実今やっているわけですが、あとから質問いたしますが、実際には片寄ったやり方をやっておるのですが、これはあとで私質問するとして、大臣の言うように国籍欄の記載が全く意味がないというなら、それを変えたところで、それを法務大臣に報告をさせろというのですか、報告することになっているのですか。これは次長が詳しいから、次長に聞いてもいいのですが、そんなことまでする必要はないんじゃないですか。これは大臣、「本省に上げろということにいたしております。」という意味はどうなんですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   ただいまの点につきまして、前回答弁いたしたところとその後調べたところと少し相違しておりますので、補足して申し上げたいと思います。必ずしも全部局に上げさしておるのではないのであります。御承知のように、一番最初は朝鮮ということで一緒に登録されておりました。それがその後韓国政府の要望もありまして、それを受けて総司令部のほうから、韓国のほうの要望もあるから韓国という記載をしてやったらどうかというサゼスチョンがございまして、こちらとしてはそういう取り扱いにいたしまして、別に国籍としての意味を持たせるものではないけれども、ただ呼び方の問題としてそう希望するならばということでスタートしたわけでございます。ところが、それが一、二年その運用状況を見ますと、その間もちろんまあ朝鮮動乱もあった関係でございましょうが、かなりその問題をめぐって在日朝鮮人の間でトラブルがあった。したがって、同一家族内で朝鮮と韓国という登録上の記載が違っておるとか、あるいは婚姻して一緒になりたいとかいうような特別な事情がない限りは、ひとつこれをやめてもらおうじゃないかという取り扱いにしたのでございますが、やはり最初に朝鮮一本でございました関係上、そういう関係から韓国のほうへ移っていくのを希望する者が、韓国のほうにそろえたいという希望が多い関係上、なるべくもう変更を認めるなという指示をしたにかかわらず、惰性で韓国の者が少しずつその後もふえておるということは事実でございます。韓国のほうに記載を希望する者がふえておるということも事実でございます。それで、最初朝鮮人だった者が一たん韓国になった、また、朝鮮に戻ってまた韓国に戻って、また朝鮮に戻るという、行ったり来たりされることは、市町村の窓口の事務が非常に煩瑣にもなりますし、またいろいろそれが在日朝鮮人間の紛争にも利用されるということがあってはまずいため、朝鮮から韓国に行く場合にはおおむね市町村で処理し、韓国から朝鮮に移る場合には本局へ上げさせるということになっているわけであります。

稲葉誠一君   だんだん話が核心に触れてきたと言うと誤弊があるのですが、核心に触れてきたのですが、朝鮮から韓国へ希望する者が多いということを今入管次長が言われたけれども、それは具体的に数字としてそういうようなことが現われていますか。どういう統計がそういうことになるのですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   一九五五年でございますから昭和三十年でございますか、三十年までは、法務省としてもこういう発表をしておりましたし、その発表の数字を見ますと、現実に七、八千くらいずつは毎年ふえております。その後は、今申し上げたような事情で、それが利用されるということで発表を中止しております。しかし、若干ずつふえております。

稲葉誠一君   そうすると発表はしていないけれども、若干は増加しているということは、発表は一九五五年一月まで、それ以後は発表していないけれども、法務省としては国籍欄の記載が韓国であるか朝鮮であるかということの統計はとっておるわけですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   とっております。

稲葉誠一君   じゃ、何の意味もない国籍欄の記載、それを一体変えたということで法務省でその統計をとる必要がどこにあるのですか。何の目的でそういうふうな統計をとっていく必要があるのですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   特別それによっていろいろ在留上の処遇を異にするとかなんとかいうことはございませんが、やはりそうした傾向があればこれをつかんでおくということも別に意味のないことではないと思います。市町村の窓口においてそういうことの事務量を把握するというようなことなども、そういう事情でそういった申請が市町村の窓口にどのくらいあるかというようなことなんかも、事務量把握の一つの方法にもなります。ただ、従来からその点につきまして稲葉先生はじめいろいろ御指摘なさるので、この問題について、実際区別の意味をわれわれとしては認めておらないので、一切禁止してしまうか、一切野放しにするか、そういう点なんかもこれは当然検討しなければならないのではないかという工合に考えております。

稲葉誠一君   それじゃ今の国籍欄の記載が変化をしてきた過程の統計は法務省当局にあるというのですから、これはあとでまた必要なときに出してもらうとかなんとかいう方法は、理事会に諮るとかそういう形でやっていきたいと思いますけれども、いずれにいたしましても、今のその資料があるとすれば、これは早急にひとつ出していただきたい、こういうふうに考えます。何の意味もないのだし、たいした影響がないというのなら、出していただくことが刑に入管としても――その後の変化ですよ。何の意味もない国籍欄の記載というのなら、それを出していただいたところで別にたいした弊害もないから、ぜひ提出していただきたい、こういうふうに考えます。その点どうですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   ただいま次長からるる御説明をいたしましたとおりでございますが、資料につきましては、手元にあります資料がおそらくやや古い資料になるかもしれませんが、これは登録の一斉切りかえ時等において一時とめるというような技術的な問題もございますが、なるべく、新しい資料を出すことにいたします。

Government member (Ogawa Seishiro)

岩間正男君   古いほうの資料も何もないのですから、年度別の増減を見ればいいのですから、古い資料も何もない、それでいいのです。

説明員(富田正典君)   古いと申しましても、数年も十年も古いという意味でございませんで、たとえば三十五年とか手元にそろいます程度のものを……。

岩間正男君   年度別のを、発表しなくなってからのやつを出して下さい。

説明員(富田正典君)   そういうものです。

稲葉誠一君   理事会に諮るとかなんとかいうことはそれまでの必要はないと思いますから、それは撤回します。


説明員(富田正典君)   そういう書類をつけさしているそうでございます。

稲葉誠一君   外国人登録法の第九条第一項、(居住地以外の記載事項の変更登録)に、「その変更を生じたことを証する文書を提出して、」、こうありますね。この「証する文書」に韓国の駐日代表部の発行している大韓民国国民登録証というのは該当するわけですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   本来この九条の規定をそのまま持ってきたことについては、われわれとしてもいささかどうかと考えている次第でございますが、この規定を準用してそういう書数を出さしているという工合に御理解いただきたいと思います。

稲葉誠一君   韓国から朝鮮へその国籍欄を変えるときには、こういう駐日代表部がないから、いわゆる公文書を添付することができないんじゃないですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   お説のとおり、添付することができないわけでございます。しかしながら、今韓国の代表部の証明書をつけるという問題も、できるだけそういう方法で市町村の窓口で混乱をなくするという意味で添付さしているわけでございます。それからその逆の韓国から朝鮮に移ります場合には、そういった証明書は取りませんが、そのかわり本局に上げさして、その事情がもっともであるということがわかれば、たとえば家族の中で一人だけ今度お嫁に来たのが韓国である、韓国という記載の登録証明書を持っているというような疎明資料がございましたら、それで認めているという工合に承知しております。

稲葉誠一君   一方は市町村の窓口でその変更を認める、一方は市町村の窓口では変更を認めないで本局へ引き上げさして内容をしさいに検討してから認める、こういう取り扱いは、そこに差別があるんじゃないですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   形式的には確かにそういう取り扱い上の差別がございますが、やはり最初朝鮮一色であったものが韓国になっていくという場合とおのずから趣を異にするのじゃないかと思います。

稲葉誠一君   日韓会談の初めのときに――法務大臣、この質問最後ですから。大臣に対する質問は最後なんですよ。日韓会談の最初のときに、日本にいるいわゆる在日朝鮮人というのは全部韓国人なんだ、こういう主張をしておったんですね。これはどういう根拠でこういう主張をしたんでしょうか。その後この主張は変わってきているんですか、どうなっているんですか。

国務大臣(中垣國男君)   その会談の内容については、私もまだ経過もそれから結論みたいなことも実は聞いていないんです。ですから、その内容について申し上げることはちょっとできませんが、先ほど来の稲葉さんの御質問のことについて若干私補足したいと思うんですが、日本が平和条約を締結いたしまして以来の在日朝鮮人というものの国籍記載欄は、全員これは朝鮮だったわけです。その後昭和二十五年に連合国最高司令部から韓国と記載するようにせよという覚書が発せられた。それで、日本政府としましては、本人が希望する場合には国籍欄に韓国と記載するようにしたわけなんです。そういうことでありますから、今日までの韓国人と朝鮮人というものに対しましての何らの意味もなかったわけなんです。全く同じだったんです。朝鮮と記載しようが、韓国と記載しようが、何らの内容的な差別は受けなかった。ただ本人が希望するのであるならばということで韓国という書類をつけておったと、まあこういうことであります。


稲葉誠一君   それじゃ、民事局長はこの点は御存じですか。最初日本政府が韓国側に、日本国と大韓民国との間の友好条約というのを示した。その第四条で「日本国及び大韓民国は、一九四五年九月二日以前のいずれかのときより日本国に引き続いて居住する朝鮮人を含むすべての朝鮮人が大韓民国国民であって日本国民でないことを確認する。」というふうな態度を日本として提案をしたと、こういうふうなことについては民事局長はどうですか。

Inaba Seiichi   Okay, does the Director of the Civil Affairs Bureau know these points? At first the Japanese government indicated to the ROK side, a treaty of amity between Japan and the Republic of Korea. As for the matter of [Japan having] suggested the attitude in Article 4 that "Japan and the Republic of Korea, confirm that all Chosenese including Consenese who have continusouly resided in Japan since 2 September 1945 and before shall be nationals of the Republic of Korea and not nationals of Japan", what [does] the Director of the Civil Affiars Bureau [have to say] about this?

政府委員(平賀健太君)   従来の日韓交渉におきましては、非公式に日本側からあるいは韓国側からいろいろの案が出されておることは事実でございますけれども、私どもとしましては、その提案の内容というものは外部に公表されておりませんし、その点の内容につきまして私どもからどうも申し上げる立場にないと申しますか、申し上げることは差し控えるのが至当ではないかと思うのでございます。

Government member (Hiraga Kenta)   In Japan-ROK negotiations up to now, it is a fact that unofficially various proposals have been put out by the Japan side and the ROK side, but the content of those submitted proposals are not released to the outside by us, and I think I would say we are not in a position to talk, or that it would be proper to refrain from talking, about the content of those points.

稲葉誠一君   これは、最初の第一次会談の際に日本側が韓国に示した友好条約の草案なんですよ。しかし、これはまあ今ここで論議したところでなんですから、別の機会に私のほうで明らかにしたいと、こう思うんですが、それから韓国へですね――これは入管のほうですが、韓国へいろんな条件で一時帰国する人がいる。たとえば、父親が死んでしまった、お墓参りしたいとか、葬式したいとか、こういうふうなことで韓国へ一時帰国するためには、これは国籍欄の記載を韓国としておかないというと、この韓国の駐日代表部ですか、ここの旅券というか、ビザというか、それがおりないので、どうしてもそういう関係から、韓国へ一時帰国するような場合には、いわゆる国籍欄を切りかえないというと韓国へ帰れないんじゃないですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   ただいまの御質問でございますが、墓参その他いわゆる単純な目的で再入国の許可を申請してきました場合に、その都度在京の韓国代表部の証明を持っていかなければならないかどうかという御質問だと思うのでございますが、われわれといたしましては、韓国の代表部でどういうふうな扱いをしてどういうふうな証明書を出しているか、完全には存じておりませんので、どういうふうな建前で証明書を出しているかということにつきましては、必ずしもつまびらかにしておりませんのでございます。

説明員(富田正典君)   再入国の許可を与えます場合には、旅券を持ってこいということになっております。ただ、韓国政府がどういう者に旅券を出すかということについては、日本政府は関知しておらないということでございます。

稲葉誠一君   そうじゃなくて、再入国の場合でなくて、こっちから出る場合ですよ。日本にいる朝鮮人か韓国人かもはっきりしない在日朝鮮人、これが韓国へ墓参なりいろいろな関係があるでしょう、帰る場合には、一体どういう手続をとるのですか。どういう手続をとって日本から正式に出ていくのですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   それは、永久に韓国へ帰るというのでなくして、一度帰ってお墓参りをしてまた日本に戻ってくるということになりますと、再入国の許可というものをもらって参りませんと、もう、一ぺん出てしまいますと、出国ということになりまして、従来戦前から引き続き在留しておったという資格がなくなるわけであります。入ってくる場合には、新たなる入国手続が要るわけでございます。したがいまして、墓参あるいは父母の危篤等で帰ります場合には、再入国の許可を入管当局からもらって帰る。それさえ持っておれば、一定の期間内に帰ってくれば入国は許される。墓参で戻ってくるような場合には、今のような手続でございます。それとも単純出国の場合を……。

稲葉誠一君   いや、あらゆる場合があるでしょう。

Inaba Seiichi   No, probably there are all cases.

説明員(富田正典君)   日本として外国人の帰国する自由をとめる規定はございませんので、その外国人が自分の本国に帰る場合にどういう旅行文書が要るかということになるのじゃないかと思いますが、その点につきましても、どういう工合に処理しておるかということは、向うの政府のやっていることで、わがほうは関知しない。単純出国の場合には、韓国政府の旅券を出す場合とそれから旅券にかわる簡単な旅行文書というようなものを出す場合と二通りあるように聞いております。

稲葉誠一君   整理して聞きたいのですが、日本にいる在日朝鮮人ですよ、それが韓国へ帰る場合に、向こうへずっと行ってしまう場合もあるし、旅行なんかで行く、あるいは墓参でも行くでしょう。とにかく向うへ行って、こっちへ帰ってくる場合もあるでしょうが、そういう場合に、出入国管理令ですから、出のほうも関係するわけですから、日本の入管としてはどういう手続とるのですか。それと韓国の在日代表部との関係は一体どうなりますか。韓国へ帰るのでしょう。韓国へ帰るのだから、日本にいる朝鮮人が日本の入管とどういう関係になるのか、あるいは日本にある駐日代表部との関係はどうなんですか、手続は。

説明員(富田正典君)   入管令の規定によりますと、(出国の手続)は、「本邦外の地域におもむく意図をもって出国しようとする外国人は、その者が出国する出入国港において、入国審査官から旅券に出国の証印を受けなければならない。」「前項の外国人は、旅券に出国の証印を受けなければ出国してはならない。」、これが単純出国の場合の規定でございます。したがって、出国するという者が旅券を持って港に出て参れば、そこで出国の証印を押してやるということになるわけでございます。

稲葉誠一君   その旅券はどこが出すのですか。

説明員(富田正典君)   韓国人の場合には、韓国ミッションでございます。

Explainer (Tomita Masanori)

稲葉誠一君   そうすると、韓国の駐日代表部で出すわけでしょう。韓国の駐日代表部は、その場合、外国人登録の国籍欄が韓国になっていないというと、旅券を出さないのじゃないですか。そういう行き方になっているから、だから韓国へ帰りたい人はいたし方がなくて国籍の記載欄を韓国にしているのが多いのじゃないですか。そういう実例じゃないですか。そういう実例は把握しておられませんか。

説明員(富田正典君)   さっき申し上げたとおりで、韓国政府が外国人登録証明書の記載がどうである場合にどういう旅券を出すかということは、日本政府としては関知しておらないことでございます。

稲葉誠一君   韓国の駐日代表部というのは、これはどういう性格を持っておるものなんですか。まだ国交が回復していないでしょう。これは何なんですか。どういうものなんですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   ただいまの御質問は外務省の政府委員のほうでお答えするべき筋合いかと思うのでございますが、私の記憶にしてたいしたあやまちがなければ、こういうふうに解されるのではないかと存じます。


稲葉誠一君   それはここで論議するのはどうかと思うのですが、しかし、日本では韓国に駐韓代表部というか、これはないわけでしょう。ないですね。ないのに一方的に相手方の韓国のいわゆる駐日代表部というのが日本にあるのは一体どういうわけなんですか。

政府委員(小川清四郎君)   なかなか難問題でございますのですが、その点につきましては、私が先日傍聴いたしておりました予算委員会の席上で、はなはだ相互主義にもとるということで強く交渉をしてソウルに日本側の代表部も早急に設けるようになればというふうなことが行われておりますが、これは確かに片手落ちでございまして、旧連合軍の一国として韓国の代表部が存在しておるという事実は、当時の状況といたしましては遺憾ながらやむを得なかったことでございますので、これに対応する日本側の代表部も設けらるべきであるというふうに考えております。

稲葉誠一君   今のは誤解されると困るのですが、私は韓国に駐韓代表部か、これを置けと言っているのじゃない。そんなことは反対なんだから、そういう主張じゃないから、誤解されると困るが、それは自民党の井出一太郎さんの御質問でしょう。そういうことじゃないから、誤解されないように願います。


政府委員(平賀健太君)   仰せのように、通達を出しております。三十五年の一月一日から韓国民法が施行になります関係で、在日朝鮮人の身分について国際私法の規定でございます法例の規定を適用する場合に、本国法が問題になった場合には、在日朝鮮人についての本国というものは今後韓国民法によって処理していくように、という趣旨なんでございます。

稲葉誠一君   在日朝鮮人は、これは韓国の人も北朝鮮の人もいる。だから、大臣の説明によれば、どうも在日韓国人というので韓国でもない北朝鮮でもないというようなことを言われておりますが、この通達によると、「新たに韓国民法が施行されることとなったので、その身分法に関する部分は、同法の施行後は、従前の取扱における慣習に代わるべきものとして、すべての朝鮮人につき、同法中の親族編に則って実務の処理をするのが相当であると考える。」、こういう通達でございますね。そうすると、この通達によると、韓国人でない朝鮮人、自分は朝鮮人だと言っている人に対しても、国際私法の適用では韓国民法が適用される、こういうことでしょう。こうなってくると、自分の国の主権の及ばないところの法律が適用されることになってくるのじゃないでしょうか。そこはどうなんですかね。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   先ほど大臣も仰せられましたように、韓国人であるとか朝鮮人であるとか申しますが、何が韓国人で何が朝鮮人であるという区別をするけじめは実際問題としてないわけであります。しかしながら、在日朝鮮人がお互い同士で結婚する、あるいは日本人と結婚するというのは、法例の規定によりますと、婚姻の成立要件は各当事者の本国法によるというようなことで、本国法というものが問題になるわけでありまして、その本国法をきめなければならない。その本国は在日朝鮮人について何かという場合に、韓国民法によって処理するように、こういう趣旨なんであります。

稲葉誠一君   それでは、朝鮮人とか韓国人とかとにかくわからない、これは一応大臣なり民事局長の御説明はわかった。僕は了解したというのじゃない。こういう説明だと。それならば、なぜすべての朝鮮人について大韓民国の民法を適用するというその理由は一体どこにあるのですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   理由は、朝鮮人なり韓国人という区別ができないからであります。日本の立場から考えますと これは朝鮮人という身分、その区別ができない、適用する法律がないというわけにはいかぬのであります。共通に同じ法律を適用する。同じ法律を本国法として適用するならば、それは韓国民法であろうという解釈になるのであります。

稲葉誠一君   ちょっとよくわからないのですがね。そうすると、私の聞いているのは、なぜ大韓民国の民法をすべての朝鮮人について適用するのかと、こう聞いているのですよ。それは北朝鮮の民法もあるわけでしょう。陣国の民法もあるでしょう。その中で一体なぜ大韓民国の民法だけを適用するのかという、その根拠を聞いているわけですよ。


政府委員(平賀健太君)   法例の適用が実際に問題になりますのは在日朝鮮人についてであまして、この回答でも、日本に居住する朝鮮人ということをはっきりいたしておりませんけれども、趣旨はもちろん日本に居住する朝鮮人なのであります。実際現地に住んでいる住民につきましては、これはむしろ別に考えるべきだろうと思うのであります。それは、日本の裁判所、あるいは、婚姻届、養子縁組届なんかが提出されますところの市町村役場におきまして本国法というものが問題になる場合の法例の解釈を示したものであります。

稲葉誠一君   そういう説明は、民事局長、前から聞いていてわかっているのですよ。私の聞いているのは、大韓民国には大韓民国の民法があるだろう。朝鮮民主主義人民共和国にはその民法があるだろう。なぜ片方の大韓民国の民法だけを適用をするのかということを聞いているのですよ。その問題にしぼって聞いているのです。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   先ほども繰り返し申し上げましたように、在日朝鮮人については、これが北であるこれが南であると区別するけじめが、かりに朝鮮民主主義人民共和国民法というものを適用するということになると、なぜそうなんだという疑いが起こってくるわけでありまして、むしろ私どもは法律の専門家であられます先生の御意見を伺いたい。私どももどうもいい知恵が浮かんでこないのであります。もっとも、なお理由を付加いたしますと、こういうことがあると思うのでございます。今現実の朝鮮における事態というのは、一つの国家の中が南北二つに分かれて、それぞれ政権が対立しておる。その現実に支配する地域はお互いに一部ずつである。こういうような状態、どちらが優勢であるともどちらが劣勢であるか、どちらが正当であるかどちらが非合法か、このきめがたい現実の状態の中に、日本の法例のように各当事者の本国法を適用するといっておる場合に、その本国法は一体どうなるのかと、これは非常にむずかしい問題なのでございます。従来、この朝鮮の事態、あるいはドイツにおけるようなああいう事態というようなものは、非常にまれな事態なのでございまして、これに関する各国の先例というようなものは、日本にはもちろんございませんし、各国にもそういう先例がないわけであります。私どもといたしましても、日本の法例がもし英米法なんかのように住所地法によるということでございますと、これは日本の民法の適用があるわけでございます。実質論から申しますと、在日朝鮮人というのは戦前から長く日本に居住しておりまして、日本の土地に根がおりておる人たちでございますので、むしろ郷に入っては郷に従えという言葉がありますとおり、事柄の実態は日本民法を適用することのほうが妥当であるとも考えられるのでございまして、法例の規定では各当事者の本国法によるということになっておりまして、住所地法が適用になるのは無国籍者の場合であります。朝鮮人の場合につきましては、これを無国籍者と同じように扱って日本私法を適用するということは、これは何としても無理じゃないか。平和条約におきましては、日本国は朝鮮の独立を承認することを第二条ではっきり言っておりまして、独立国朝鮮、統一しておりませんけれども、朝鮮という国家はやはりあるのじゃないか。日本としてもその独立を承認しておる以上、朝鮮という国がある。ただ、政府が二つに分かれておる、それぞれ一部ずつを支配しておるという現状なのでございます。そこで、一体本国法をどうするかという非常にむずかしい問題が起こるのでありまして、私どもと申しますか、法務省の考え方といたしましては、現在朝鮮の住民が約二千二百万でございましたか、ちょっと正確な数字を忘れたのでございますが、北鮮の住民が千百万とも言われ、千万とも言われ、あるいは九百万とも言われておりますが、とにかく千万前後、南朝鮮がたしか二千三百万、合わせて総人口三千四、五百万のうち、約三分の二以上が南朝鮮に住んでおる、大韓民国政府の支配下にある、こういう現状なのでございます。それからまた、御承知のとおり、国連の総会におきましては、韓国政府をもって朝鮮における唯一の合法政府、ローフル・ガバメントであると総会の決議において宣言もされておることでありますし、それからなお、本籍がどこにあるかということは、これは日本の戸籍における本籍と同じように、土地とのつながりというものが実際はないわけでございまして、本籍の所在いかんによって南か北かをきめるということはこれは適当でないと思うのでございますが、それでも出生地であるとか、先祖がそこにいたとかいう関係で、なんかのやはり土地のつながりがある場合が少なくない。そういう見地から在日朝鮮人の本籍というものを見てみますと、これも正確な統計をとったわけでもございませんのでわかりませんが、圧倒的多数がやはり南朝鮮に本籍を持っておる人なのであります。そういう関係におきまして、韓国民法をもって在日朝鮮人の本国法と考えることが実質的に妥当ではないかというふうに考えるのでございます。


稲葉誠一君   それじゃ、いろいろお聞きしたいわけですけれども、三十五年の一月一日に韓国民法が施行されたそれ以前は、一体どういうふうになっていたわけですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   それ以前の法務省の取り扱いにおきましては、以前、日本の統治当時に、朝鮮総督府の政令というのがございました。その政令で朝鮮民事令というのが制定されておったのであります。その朝鮮民事令の規定の内容は、大ざっぱに申し上げますと、朝鮮人の身分関係につきましては朝鮮の慣習による、こういうことになっていたわけでございます。そのうち、朝鮮民事令が――これは南だけについてのことでございますけれども、戦後、いわゆる韓国政府が独立した以後も、そのまま廃止されないで、この韓国民法が施行されますまではなおこれは韓国の法律だということで行なわれておったのが実情なのであります。そういう関係で、法務省におきまして戸籍事務を処理する関係におきましては、それまでは朝鮮の慣習によるということで戸籍の届出なんかを処理してきたわけであります。

稲葉誠一君   そうすると、民事局長の通達によって、韓国民法が施行され、適用されている。それが日韓会談の中で法的地位の問題と関連して、一体どういうふうになるのですか、この通達は。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   これは、韓国との協定の内容がどういうことになるか、今のところまだ予測のつかぬ状況でございまして、この問題がどうなるかということにつきましても、今から申し上げることはできないのでございます。

稲葉誠一君   しかし、こういう行き方が、いわゆる原則的なものではなくて、変則的なものだと、こういうふうなことは、法務省当局としては認めているのですか。現実に韓国民でない――まあ今の段階じゃ韓国だか朝鮮だかわからないとしても、日韓会談がかりにどうにかなれば、いずれは日本にいる朝鮮人が韓国人とそれからいわゆる北の朝鮮人と二つに分かれなければならない段階が来る。こういうようなときが来れば、一体こういうふうな取り扱いは、それぞれ本国法なんですから、それぞれの国の本国法に従って適用する、こういう行き方をとるのが正しいはずですが、その点はどういうふうになるのですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   現在の段階は、先ほども申し上げましたように、朝鮮という一つの国の中に二つの政権が事実上存在しておるという状態なのでございますが、ただいま仰せのような事態というのは、北には、国名は何となりますか、北朝鮮、南には南朝鮮国という二つの国家が併立して、国際社会においても承認され、日本でも二国の存在を認めるという事態になれば、これは全部韓国民法で律するということはできなくなることはもちろんでございますが、そういうような事態がいつどういう経過をたどってくるものかどうか、ちょっと今の国際情勢のもとでは私ども予測もすることができないと思うのでございまして、そのときは一体どうなるか、どうしてその南北の国籍がきまるかということ、これはちょっと私どもは想像がつきません。

稲葉誠一君   そうすると、結論的にですよ、日本が北朝鮮を認めない限りにおいては、在日朝鮮人は、法例の適用では本国法として韓国民法が適用されるのだ、こういうことですか。そう承ってよろしいのですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   これは、今後日韓間に協定が成立するとしまして、その協定の中に何かこの国籍に関する条項が設けられるということになれば別でありますが、そういうことがない限りは、私どもとしましては、法務省の現在の方針というものは変わることはないと考えております。

稲葉誠一君   これは法務省当局でも調べておると思うのですが、韓国の民法、これは日本の旧民法に非常に近くて、いわゆる家族制度というものを残していて、家の制度を存続しているのでしょう。これはどうですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   韓国の民法は、私も内容を十分勉強をいたしておりませんけれども、従来の慣習、それから日本の旧民法、日本の新民法、こういうものが非常に参考になってできておるような印象を私は受けるわけであります。

稲葉誠一君   それじゃ、韓国の民法と朝鮮民主主義人民共和国の民法とは、一体、たとえば結婚の問題、離婚の問題、養子縁組、どう違うのですか。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   私、北鮮の民法の内容を承知いたしませんので、比較して検討したことはございません。

理事(松野孝一君)   稲葉君に申し上げますが、もう時間もだいぶ経過しておりますから……。

稲葉誠一君   それじゃ、時間もたいへんおそくなったようですから、その締めくくりになるわけですけれども、今の民事局長の答弁というのは、私は非常に大きな国際法上の問題を含んでおると思うのです。それで、この問題については、いずれ私のほうでもいろいろ研究をして、あらためて別の機会に、これはどこになるか、予算委員会になるのか、法務委員会になるのか、それははっきりしませんが、いずれ私も勉強してもっと追及をしていきたい、こういうふうに考えます。


岩間正男君   時間がございませんので、私は、今稲葉委員の質問に対する大臣はじめ局長の答弁で二点確かめておきたい点がある。


国務大臣(中垣國男君)   岩間さんにお答えいたします。


岩間正男君   これは速記録を詳細に、三回ほど相当調査をやられておりますから、検討してみればはっきりします。ただ、大臣は、どこに立たれるのか、あくまでも国際法の認める国籍あるいは永住権、こういうような権利というものを平等に認めて、その上に立って日本の政治を進めていくのか。したがって、あなたたちが今問題にしている韓国との交渉をそういう方針を貫くのかどうか。これはやはり当然国務大臣としてはそういう方針を持たなければならないのです。私たちはそういうふうにこれは期待し聞いておった。ところが、今の問題は既得権の現状を変更しないのだということにこれは私は今の答弁では改めてこられたような印象を受けた。そうして、その点で作業面では民事局長のさっきの答弁には矛盾しないのだ。しかし、これは作業面などといっておりますけれども、この作業面が全面的に現状の朝鮮の人たちの権利をしばっているのです。ですから、私は大体方針がないのだろうと思います。ほんとうに一体大方針があるのか。ないでしょう。そうして、日韓会談の今後のやり方によっては、今の局長たちのような答弁でその方針が法務省の方針だなどということで続けられる限りにおいては、今後これはもう現状よりももっと後退するだろう、そういう事態が起こる。これが在日朝鮮人諸君が今日心から心配している問題じゃないですか。それに対してやはりあなた自身の答弁の立場というものは変わっております。明らかにもう速記録で検討してみれば明確だと思うのです。したがって、これは日韓会談そのものに対して非常に大きな反対が出てきているというのは、今のような態度があるから、たとえばまた作業に名を借りて実は明らかにもう一方に偏するようなやり方でもってこの問題を処理していこう、それがいかにももっともらしい口実のもとに装われてやられている、そこに問題があります。私はしかし時間がありませんから、この問題についてはもっとやはり掘り下げてこの問題についてまた近い機会に追及してみたいと思います。今まで答弁されてきたあなたたちの速記録をずっと読んでみて、どこで一体ずるずる変わっていっているか、そういうような便宜主義ではいけないと思います。この点を要望して、大臣かぜをひいておられますから、そのくらいにいたします。

政府委員(平賀健太君)   ただいま岩間委員の仰せによりますと、私が何か大臣の御答弁と矛盾するようなことを申したかのような印象を受けたのでございますが、決してそうではございませんで、在日朝鮮人に対してはその本国法は一律に大韓民国民法であるということであって、南であるとか北であるとか差別をしないと大臣が仰せられたそのとおりのことを戸籍の実務の上でもその他の面でも身分に関する限りは処理いたしておるのであります。決して大臣の御答弁と私が申し上げたことが食い違っておるとは考えておりません。

岩間正男君   大韓民国の民法とそれから朝鮮民主主義人民共和国の民法が同じならそういうことも言えますよ。違っておるのです、現実に。あなた、形式論で問題をごまかしちゃだめですよ。実体論ですよ。実体をあなたたち把握していないで、そして何か見ても見ないふりをするような格好で問題が進められているところに問題があるのですよ。もっと聞いてごらんなさい、現実を。私はこのことをあなたを相手にしてやる時間がありませんから、もう一ぺんはっきり問題を整理してやりましょう。

理事(松野孝一君)   他に御発言もなければ、本件に対する質疑は一応この程度にとどめます。

本日はこれにて散会いたします。 午後五時三十一分散会