Kang Sang-jung is rather a popular professor we see on TV.
Kang Sang-jung (Hangul: 강상중, Hanja: 姜尚中, born 1950) is a Zainichi Korean political scientist. He is a professor at Tokyo University.
He is one of the most outspoken critics of Japanese nationalism and United States Imperialism , and some people regard him as a North Korean nationalist in Japan.(wiki)
Kawahito is one of the such critics of Kang. He is a lawyer who works for human rights domestically and abroad, and he accuses Kang in his book"Kim Jong-il and Japanese intellectual" for supporting Kim Jong-il .
He even says Kang is a a sophist who works for Kim's regime by the dictator, of the dictator, for the dictator.
Is Kawahito rightist? Not at all. He is a known as a lawyer who worked for the family of the workers who died of the overworking, he is a supporter of comfort women abroad. He has worked for the human right of Zainichi.
Kang claims that
(1)the abduction issue should not prevent Japan from normalization with North Korea.
The normalization is the least risky way to settle the issue .
(2)we should not internationalize the issue because it will increase the threat of North Korea (by provoking Kim)
(3)the rapid collapse of the Kim regime is not desirable because we can not predict what will happen to the nuclear weapon North Korea.
(4)Japan should stop negative campaign against North Korea.
(5)If we had to choose between justice without peace and peace without justice, peace without justice would be preferable. (And since bringing the issue on the table of UN human right committee might violate the peace), we should not or don't have to send the abduction issue to the UN human right committee.
(6)Introduction of market economy will bring Kim's regime to the gradual end.
(7)Japan should face the issue of comfort women under Japanese rule rather than talking about a handful of abductions by North Korea.
Kawahito counter-argues that
(1)the normalization means paying compensation in substance, which will only benifit Kim. Before or after normalization, Kim will resist by any means the possibility of weakling the status.
(2)we can push Kim's regime into the corner by internationalizing the issue of abduction in Japan and abroad by North Korea, the massive violation of human right in North Korea, the drug trafficking by North Korea. What we need to do is to help and support North Korea people who escape from North Korea.
(3)No nuclear accident happened after Soviet Union collapsed.
(4)there is no reason we should not talk about the brutality of repatriation project,
the massive violations of human right under North Korea;people who repatriated from Japan had been severely oppressed under the regime.
(5)peace deserve protection because it will realize human right. As it is under Kim's regime, people are treated like animals: what we seek is peach with justice.
(6)China introduced market economy but the regime hasn't changed.
(7)Trying to justify the abduction by bringing up the comfort women issue is just like the way Kim deals with the issue.
Kawahito adds that between 1960's and 1980's it is well known that North Korean spies were influencing Zainich Koreans, and Koreans in Europe, especially in Germany. Kang was studying in German from the late 70's to 80's.
In one respect, the controversy looks just the reflection over the difference of opinions regarding how to settle the abduction issue.
But in another respect I also share the sentiment with him;Why do people who criticize, for instance, the repatriation project to North Korea by Japan would not criticize the brutal situation of the people who repatriated from Japan in Korea. Why do people who oppose the so-called negative campaign against North Korea in Japan would not oppose cruel situation of North Korea?
Kawahito is against attacking North Korea militarily; he believes the international pressure can bring about the change in North Korea just as it brought about the change in East Europe. He is supporting the refugees from North Korea. He has worked with Zainichi Koreans. Through the corporation with them, he realized that some of them were threaten to do illegal acts by North Korea agents:their relatives are in North Korea. Against the allegation that he is demonizing North Korea, he says he is just against Kim's regime;he is working to help the oppressed North Koreans, which is in stark contrast with Kang, who just speaks out in a safety zone. He concludes that Kim regime is the trickiest nation ever; she would do anything nobody consider plausible.He warns the young lawyers who will work for North Korea- related organization to be very careful in handling the matter. For instance, every time criticisms mount against North Korea, the incidents happen such that North Korean students in Japan are ripped off the clothes. No one is arrested despite the investigation. Zainich Korean journalist investigating the case died for a mysterious reason. Some victims were not wearing a traditional Korean clothes....... He warns that the lawyer dealing with the case should not believe the story at the face value but carefully handle the matter..
I am not sure if Kang is somehow connected with North Korea. I am not the type of the person who believe in a conspiracy theory. But in case of North Korea, I want to keep open the possibility of its conspiracy because I also feel biased trend among some Japanese intellectuals and because Kawahito's record as a honest human right activist makes him sound reliable enough.
He also says the abductees so far officially recognized by the government are just the tip of the iceberg. He criticises Japanese government,saying that the government criteria for the abducted is too strict. The victims should be designated as the abducted if
(1) there is material evidence(photographs, letters etc.) to show the victims are in North Korea
(2) there is a testimony that she witnessed the victim in North Korea
(3) there is a testimony of the abductor and his aider and abettor.
(4) the victims disappeared in a similar situation in case of the other abductees.
(5) there is a situation to maneuver to conceal the crime by the abductor.