In the wake of the Second World War, Tokyo had been largely reduced to a burned over field by bombing raids.
The survivors gathered together with nothing but the clothes on their backs to make a place where they could live. As Higashi Ueno Ward had an International Friendship Market, many Koreans settled there. Currently the area is undergoing urban development, but there are still traces of its independent culture as a Korea town here and there.
Here there are many working class ethnic and Korean Barbecue restaurants, which are loved by many people, locals and gourmets alike. I myself have memories of walking this restaurant street with my family, tasting ethnic cooking.
Six years ago, I visited this Korea town and took memorial photos of the buildings and streets. The local residents that I met at that time were full of pure friendliness. I wonder if they will be able to continue their peaceful lives here, being loved by people, in the future as well.
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, I believe that it has value as a historical inheritance of the modern period, and as a daily life culture from a culture of peace. You could say the same of all the Korea towns in various parts of Japan. In recent years, the number of neighborhoods made up of people from all across the world have increased, supporting those neighborhoods’ prosperity. We must reaffirm that Japan is also moving towards and era of sharing and coexistence with other cultures.
Above all, this year we must work out a government that is proactive in bringing in foreign laborers. We have great expectations for their vital role in supporting the nation. One cannot help but feel that it is an age of change. [Official Website]