[EDITORIALS]A good move for MindanMindan, the pro-South Korean residents union in Japan, is transforming itself from simply a group of Korean residents in Japan to a more practical and social organization that represents a minority in Japan. An advisory committee from the union has come up with a proposal that would allow all descendants of Koreans who moved to Japan during the colonial period that have become Japanese citizens to join the union. Also, newcomers who moved from Korea to Japan after Korea was liberated from colonial rule can now become members of Mindan. The union has decided to remove the clause in its platform that recognizes South Korea's constitution. The union plans to reform itself into a social organization that concentrates on cultural programs and protects foreign residents' rights in Japan.
Such plans represent the efforts of the union to become a civil rights organization for a minority race in Japan, with an open policy, and thus shedding criticism that it had become a closed nationalist organization under the strong influence of South Korea.
Indeed, some rules of Mindan were too politically oriented, causing the union to occasionally fall behind the times.
Prior to the change, the union failed to embrace those who were naturalized as Japanese citizens and their descendants. In light of such shortcomings, the direction of Mindan's transformation is timely and appropriate. Moreover, the Korean government and the people should also change their points of view toward Korean residents living in foreign countries.
Korea has the fourth largest diaspora population, after Chinese, Jews and Italians. It's widely known that Seoul has failed to provide an appropriate policy for those who have emigrated to other countries. Because Mindan has announced it will reform itself, we urge the government to change its policy on Korean citizens living abroad.