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South Korean boycott of Japanese goods rumbles on Updated: 2019-09-19 16:05:13 KST

The number of South Korean tourists to Japan plummeted in August.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, less than 309-thousand South Koreans visited Japan in August, 48 percent lower than in the same month last year.

And many South Koreans are not only refraining from visiting Japan but also boycotting Japanese products.
This retailer, one of the largest in South Korea, has posters with the words 'NO JAPAN' displayed around its store.

"For more than two months, South Koreans have been boycotting Japanese products to express their anger over Tokyo's export curbs on Seoul. The public mood shows no signs of changing anytime soon, with the boycott of anything made in Japan still gaining steam."

Since July, imported Japanese goods have all but disappeared from this supermarket.

"When I shop for groceries these days, I try to avoid buying Japanese products."

Japanese beer, once the most popular imported beer in South Korea, is now nowhere to be seen on the shelves.
In August, imports of Japanese beer slumped a staggering 97 percent from a year earlier.
According to data released this week by the Korea Customs Service, only 223,000 U.S. dollars of beer was imported from Japan.
Beer is not the only product severely impacted by the boycott.
According to Seoul's trade ministry on Wednesday, sales of Japanese cars in South Korea plunged nearly 60 percent on-year in August.

"The boycott has had a big impact on some staple Japanese products. Finding an alternative to these products is not that hard. This means the boycott not only hit Japanese beer or cars, but also clothing brands like Uniqlo."

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has been forced to close four of its stores in South Korea since the boycott started in July.
Most people in Seoul expect the anti-Japan boycott to rumble on.

"I don't think it will end anytime soon. My parents and my friends are also boycotting Japanese products."

Some even denounced the Abe administration in Tokyo.

"In my opinion, it was imprudent for Prime Minister Abe to impose export curbs on South Korea in the first place. The problems between our two countries could have been resolved through dialogue rather than economic retaliation."

However, experts warn the prolonged boycott campaign is negatively affecting Japanese AND South Korean firms.
And there are calls for the two governments to move toward reconciliation and cooperation for the sake of both of their economies.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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