S. Koreans' boycott of Japanese products likely to impact both economies



An increasing number of South Koreans are
boycotting Japanese goods over the souring trade and diplomatic tussle between the two
countries. But some experts are urging the public to
think rationally,… to minimize the negative impact on companies and consumers in both
countries. Yoon Jung-min explains. Japanese products are on the boycott list
of many South Koreans following Tokyo's new export restrictions on high-tech materials
to Seoul. The items include small products such as pens
and clothing to more expensive goods like Japanese cars and electronics. A Japanese tobacco company in South Korea
even canceled press conference in which it planned to launch a new product to avoid the
possible fallout. Some local merchants have also joined the
boycott, despite concerns it could hurt their bottom line. "Our customers are generally regular people,
including some victims of Japan's past atrocities like forced labor or sexual slavery. The Japanese government hasn't reacted properly
so we wanted to make our voice heard. But I hope things improve and this doesn't
happen again. Of course, it's going to impact our sales,
but hopefully it gets resolved quickly." The political and diplomatic conflicts are
expected to harm both countries' economies, and some are worried the situation could become
a dangerous game of who blinks first. An expert says the two countries should settle
their dispute responsibly. "South Korea and Japan are tied together through
history and geography. I don't think it's proper to close the door
in a situation like this. We should consider our economy and future
and make sure emotion doesn't cloud reason. The government should also take this into
account." Many say they expect South Korea and Japan
to resume dialogue to resolve the problem for companies and consumers in both countries. Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.