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Korean Residents Union in Japan
Flag of mindan-unfinished.svg
Japanese name
Kanji 在日本大韓民国民団
Korean name
Hangul 재일본대한민국민단
Hanja 在日本大韓民國民團

Mindan (Korean: 민단), or the Korean Residents Union in Japan (Korean: 재일본대한민국민단), is the name of one of two main organizations for Koreans living in Japan, the other being Chongryon. Mindan has ties to South Korea and was established in 1946 in Tokyo, Japan.[1] Currently, among 610,000 Korean residents in Japan who have not adopted Japanese nationality, 65 percent are members of Mindan, and another 25 percent are members of Chongryon.

Mindan members prefer the modern term Kankoku (韓国?) to be used when discussing Korea. Chongryon members, some of whom are North Korean fellow travellers, prefer the older term Chōsen (朝鮮?). Because Chōsen was the term used during the Japanese rule of Korea and North Korea does not recognize Kankoku, this causes enmity between the groups.[2]


Mindan was established in 1946 as the Zai-Nihon Chōsen Kyoryū Mindan (在日本朝鮮居留民団?), but with the founding of South Korea in 1948 the name Chōsen was dropped, and the organization was reincorporated as Zai-Nihon Daikanminkoku Kyoryū Mindan (在日本大韓民国居留民団?).[1] The Korean War (1950 – 1953) brought about a sharp division between members of Chongryon and Mindan, which each organization strongly supporting the North or South respectively. Mindan members went to Korea as volunteer soldiers in the conflict in this period.[2]

As the term kyoryū, meaning "resident", became a politically sensitive term, the organization adopted its present name in 1994 by simply dropping the term kyoryū. Despite the formal renaming of the organization, it has been consistently known as Kankoku Mindan or simply Mindan in Japan.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "在日本大韓民国民団" [Mindan]. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b "在日朝鮮人問題" [Issues of Zainichi Koreans]. Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 153301537. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  3. ^ "在日本大韓民国民団" [Mindan]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  4. ^ <日대지진> 피난민 "한국 곰탕.김치로 마음달래요" Yonhap News 2011-04-07

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