The Exodus to North Korea Museum

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Omura  大村

Omura Immigration Detention Center, near Nagasaki, was created in 1950. It housed Koreans awaiting deportation to South Korea under the terms of Japan’s Migration Control Law and Alien Registration Law. However, the detainees included refugees who had fled South Korea for political reasons, and other left-wingers who feared imprisonment or even execution if they were returned to South Korea under the Syngman Rhee regime.

The Song of Omura  大村の歌

(by Chung Hun-Sung and Choe Yung-Su 

The Song of Omura

 From ICRC Archives, file B AG 232 105-002

Omura became the site for intense conflicts between pro-South Korean and pro-North Korean detainees. For much of the 1950s, the South Korean government contested the right of the Japanese government to deport Koreans who had lived in Japan since colonial times. The determination of the Japanese government to continue deportations, and the refusal of South Korea to accept them, led to overcrowding in the detention centre. Detainees on both sides of the political divide appealed to the Red Cross to alleviate their plight.

Appeals to the Red Cross

From ICRC Archives, B AG 232 105-003

 

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