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Category: History

Transformation of the civil status of the Sakhalin Koreans

anatoliya of COUSINS


In article the position of the Sakhalin Koreans in terms of evolution of their legal status is analyzed, regional features of process of filling of the civil rights are shown by democratic contents in the scientific plan.

In the article the situation of the Sakhalin Koreans from the point of view of evolution of their legal status is analyzed; regional features of process of filling of the civil rights by democratic content are showed in scientific aspect.

apatride, nationality, Koreans, Sakhalin region, Japanese citizens; stateless, citizenship, Koreans, Sakhalin region, Japanese citizens.



Timofeyevich —

to. and. N, associate professor






apaSIu_ki7.t1939 @

Historical memory steadily returns us to the past, and a problem of this research to show how there passed evolution of legal status of the Sakhalin Koreans — from the former Japanese citizens through a formal image of "the Soviet identity" to belonging to the Russian citizenship. The demand, so, and relevance of this sort of historical information is caused both by need of studying the general processes of the population, and requirements of the state national policy within qualitatively new considerably changed international relations. The considered problem became defining and in public consciousness of Koreans.

The number of the Koreans who remained on the Southern Sakhalin after war — the Japanese citizens was about 23.5 thousand 1, and about 26 thousand workers together with families was delivered on labor recruitment from Northern Korei2. If to give the general political legal treatment, then the first group can be considered as absolutely powerless weight in the civil relation which did not have any stable relation with the Soviet state which would be expressed in total the mutual rights and duties. At the same time it was deprived of an opportunity to appeal to the Japanese government and to the international public law. The second group represented the citizens of the DPRK living on position of foreigners. So various legal status of the called groups of Koreans predetermined also all complexity of their relationship as natives of one country, but already divided on the 38th parallel into two contradictory states.

The order of providing nationality was a basic factor under the influence of which activity of powerless Koreans developed. In 1946 they received temporary certificates in the Japanese and Russian languages with the right of a registration in the place zhitelstva3. At the same time numerous applications for admission came to citizenship of the USSR. This work was carried out according to the resolution of Council of ministers of the USSR of May 6, 1952 4 On the basis of the order of Council of ministers of RSFSR of August 31, 1956 No. 173-rs it was allowed to replace the Japanese names

1 State Archive of the Sakhalin Region (SASR), t. 171, l. 259.
2 GASO, t. 53, op. 1, 109, l. 27.
3 GASO, t. 171, op. 3, 6, l. 48.
4 GASO, t. 242, op. 1, 33, l. 13-14.

op. 3, 7,

the, natsionalnymi1. For 1952-1957 in the Soviet nationality 3,212 people 2 were accepted

Statelessness of two types was characteristic of the Sakhalin Koreans: absolute, found from the moment of the birth, and relative, caused loss of the Japanese citizenship. But also in the first, and in the second cases it can be considered as legal anomaly. In principle the legal status of the Korean apatrides was predetermined by the domestic legislation of the USSR and in essence equated to the status of foreigners, except for one essentially important point: any foreign mission had no right to render them diplomatic protection.

After signing of the Convention between the governments of the USSR and the DPRK of December 16, 1957 3 work on reception of all persons of the Korean nationality, including and moved by the Japanese authorities to the Southern Sakhalin was carried out to citizenship of the USSR or the DPRK on the basis of the principle of voluntariness. At this stage the question of nationality of Koreans — persons without citizenship and with dual citizenship, living in the USSR and the DPRK, was finally solved legally, and those, on explanation of the first department of Asia Russian Foreign Ministry, should not ostavatsya4.

As for the Soviet nationality, in 1958 — 1960 it was received 4,782 people, from them 4,067 from among persons without citizenship and 715 citizens of the DPRK. But eventually this process endured also recessions. Let's tell, in 1965 only 98 Koreans, in 1966 — 88, in 1967 — 82, in 1968 — 129, in 1969 — 1185 were accepted.

To that there were also objective reasons. First, since 1954, to Koreans, including and persons without citizenship, departure in the DPRK on permanent residence was allowed, and they used this opportunity. Secondly, many abstained from registration of the Soviet nationality, believing that it will complicate further them homecoming, to South Korea. That circumstance that

1 GASO, t played also a role. 53, op. 1, 35, l. 106.
2 GASO, t. 53, op. 1, 23, l. 4 — 5.
3 GASO, t. 53, op. 5, 498, l. 208.
4 Archive of regional public organization "Sakhalin Koreans".
5 GASO, t. 53, op. 2, 84, l. 170.

the Koreans who took out the Soviet citizenship got to category paying a tax on childlessness at once though it was difficult to start the families to them because among adult population of Korean female was approximately three times less, than men.

Getting out of citizenship of the USSR and adoption of citizenship of the DPRK were at the same time observed. In 1961. The presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR satisfied petitions of 18 Koreans. In 1962 the petitions for getting out of citizenship of the USSR were excited by 38 people 6

Many Koreans from among the former Japanese citizens were accepted in citizenship of the DPRK in the simplified order. But after long accommodation in the territory of the Sakhalin Region they got families, got an education, a certain profile of work and did not wish to leave in the DPRK. Numerous letters on inclusion in the Soviet nationality came to various organizations from them. And as the North Korean authorities of permission to getting out of the national citizenship did not give, the discontent was shown, up to open protests. On this soil, national passports "were deliberately lost". For 1964 — 1966 refused extension of national passports of 540 citizens of KNDR7.

The allied law of 1978 considerably expanded political legislative bases for acquisition Soviet grazhdans-tva8. It meant for the Sakhalin Koreans who did not have nationality that the children born at them became the Soviet citizens as were born in the territory of the USSR as well as in case one of parents constantly lived in the USSR at least or parents of the child were not known.

Dynamics of number of the Korean population of the Sakhalin Region on civil sign for 1946 — 1989 can be presented in the following characteristic.

Quantitative ratio of Koreans — persons without citizenship, i.e. the former Japanese citizens, within the first five post-war years had a steady tendency to growth, having reached the

6 Sakhalin Center of Documentation of the Contemporary History (SCDCH), t. P-4, op. 80, 46, l. 119 — 121.
7 GASO, t. 53, op. 7, 268, l. 132 — 137.
8 Sheets of the Supreme Council USSR, 1978, 49, Article 816.

a maximum — 30.3 thousand — in 1951 1, and then the return process was found, and their number by 1989 was reduced to 2.7 thousand people 2, or by 11.2 times.

The first mass inflow was observed in 1946 — 1949 when from North Korea 26,065 workers and members of their families as the Soviet state showed interest in additional labor for development of the territory of the Southern Sakhalin were delivered. In the next years the number of this national group began to be reduced considerably owing to the return outflow in the DPRK on the basis of the interstate agreement. In 1946 — 1949. The Sakhalin Region was left by 14.4 thousand and in the 1950th — about 15 thousand more persons. Return of North Korean families dragged on for several decades, generally because of unwillingness to go because of unfortunate life to the DPRK. Excess of number left in the DPRK (nearly 30 thousand people) over quantity of the Korean citizens delivered on recruitment was caused by the fact that this difference fell on the former Japanese citizens who, being persons without citizenship, were naturalized the DPRK, left there in hope to reach on the historical homeland — the Republic of Korea.

In 1952 the situation when the group obtained the Soviet citizenship was for the first time distinguished from Koreans was created, having exceeded in 1989 35.0 thousand people, at simultaneous sharp falling of absolute values of number of two other groups and their cumulative specific weight in the general structure of the Korean population up to 8.5%3.

The absolute maximum of the Korean population (42.9 thousand people) fell on 1951 when the greatest natural increase was observed and slowed down, having stretched for several decades, process of return to the DPRK of families of the enlisted North Korean workers.

The law "About Citizenship of the USSR" adopted on May 23, 1990 4 laid the foundation for democratization of legal regulation of a stable relation of the person with the state, introduced in this bilateral process some

1 GASO, t. 3, op. 2, 184, l. 38, 41.
2 GASO, t. 3, op. 2, 205, l. 35.
3 GASO, t. 3, op. 2, 184, l. 12, 38.
4 Sheets of the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR and

Supreme Council USSR, 1990, 23, Article 435.

humanity. For the first time legislatively the norm forbidding to deprive the person of the right to nationality under any conditions was established. This provision was enshrined in the law of November 28, 1991. "About citizenship of RSFSR" 5. Cancellation of a two-way legal communication between the personality and the state became possible only on the basis of mutual consent.

The new federal law of May 31, 2002 established more humane principles and rules regulating questions of nationality, having defined that:

a) the citizenship of the Russian Federation is single and equal for all, irrespective of the bases of its acquisition;

b) accommodation of the citizen of the Russian Federation beyond its limits does not stop his Russian citizenship;

c) the citizen of the Russian Federation cannot be deprived of the nationality or the right to change him;

d) the citizen of the Russian Federation cannot be sent out of borders of Russia or is given to the foreign state;

The Russian Federation encourages with

e) acquisition of citizenship of the Russian Federation by persons without grazhdanstva6.

In these legal instructions long-term practice of state authorities on permission of collisions in the field of nationality received the embodiment. These instructions make also other important sense as in comparison with earlier existing legislation for the Sakhalin Koreans they became more simplified.

On family and other personal circumstances many Sakhalin Koreans are forced to live constantly abroad and, in particular, in the DPRK and the Republic of Korea. Those from them which have the Russian citizenship stay on the consular registry, have passports of the citizen of the Russian Federation, support family and business connections with the Sakhalin Region and at the same time promote strengthening of the international relations. Therefore when life circumstances force the Sakhalin Koreans to go, for example, to the Republic of Korea when it is necessary to get married with her citizens when in such families children, fuss - are born

5 Sheets of the Congress of People's Deputies of RSFSR and Supreme Council RSFSR, 1992, 6, Article 243.
6 Work and right, No. 7, 2008, page 4.

kat need to have legal relations with two states and thus to be at the same time an owner of nationality of these states.

Proceeding from the developed new historical circumstances, the government of the Republic of Korea as an exception extended to the Sakhalin Koreans effect of "Acts of nationality" (1992), and they acquired the right for entrance to RK for permanent residence and for adoption of nationality of this strany1. The similar political step was taken also by the Russian side: according to the law of May 31, 2002 the finding by the citizen of the Russian Federation of other nationality does not involve the termination of citizenship of the Russian Federation, and in case of stay abroad it is provided to it diplomatic zashchita2.

The originality of a collision is that the Republic of Korea and the DPRK do not recognize each other as the sovereign states, and their citizens on the relation to each other consider themselves foreigners. All this has a direct bearing on the Sakhalin Koreans with North Korean citizenship. They were, as a matter of fact, hostages of the uncoordinated interstate legislation. And it proceeds mainly from a political and legal environment and it is not considered with the real situation of many thousands of Koreans who at the Soviet power were forced to be naturalized the DPRK to receive to themselves diplomatic protection and to get rid of shameful powerless situation.

In conclusion we will formulate the following conclusions.

1. Civil position of Koreans did not differ in stability as the processes resulting in discrepancy of their national and civil self-identification were observed.
2. In the choice of nationality the Koreans proceeded from different motives. Some secretly hoped that, having become the citizen of the DPRK, they will be able to return to this country, and from there to return to South Korea. Others, burdened by lawlessness and care of the future of the children, gave preference to the Soviet nationality as they saw in the USSR powerful druzhes-
1 To Lo Han Don. Problem of the Russian Koreans: history and prospects of the decision. — M.: SLANG, 1995, page 91.
2 SZ Russian Federation, 2002, No. 22, Article 2031.

I forge the power with quite safe living conditions. As for homecoming, it was not excluded and represented possible in the future. The third considered the best option to live further on position of persons without citizenship, waiting for an opportunity for implementation of the self-identification or other civil accessory, being drawn nevertheless more towards South Korea as to the country of an outcome.

3. The present Sakhalin Korean community is represented by six main national groups which civil status was predetermined by historical circumstances:

— persons, in the past the Japanese citizens who obtained the Soviet (nowadays Russian) citizenship, living in the Sakhalin Region;

— the persons with citizenship of the DPRK which arrived on labor recruitment in 1946 — 1949;

— persons with citizenship of the DPRK from among the former Japanese citizens;

— the persons with North Korean citizenship which turned into nationality of USSR — Russia;

— the persons which do not have any nationality (citizenship) or apatrides;

— the persons which arrived from areas of Central Asia and Kazakhstan after deportation, having the Soviet nationality.

4. Due to the establishment in 1990 of diplomatic relations between the former USSR and the Republic of Korea there is a need to eliminate the developed political and legal inconsistency, to coordinate the domestic civil legislation in all respects, to bring it into accord with the real interests of the Sakhalin Korean population and to grant it without any restrictions the right for national and civil self-identification.

In general, it is possible to claim that the situation around the Sakhalin Koreans in terms of both internal, and the international legislation underwent essentially important changes towards fuller providing their civil rights. However over time the integrating role of ethnic signs weakens, and the national component is more and more absorbed by the dominating all-Russian culture.

Hardy Victor
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