‘Congratulations on starting school’ was the message at the front door of the school earlier this month [Steven Borowiec/Al Jazeera]

At a ceremony to mark the start of a new school year, the principal of the largest Korean school in Japan stood in front of a massive North Korean flag and pledged to continue the school’s mission to toil for the advancement of the Korean people.

At the ceremony that took place earlier this month, several hundred middle and high school students clad in black traditional uniforms stood in front of the podium. Some of them later took to the stage to promise to study hard and honour the legacy of Tokyo Korean Junior and Senior High School. 

Dozens of parents, many of whom are

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