business

S Korean beer imports from Japan plunge 97%

89 Comments
By Jung Yeon-je

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© 2019 AFP

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89 Comments
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no problem, keep the beers for the rugby crowd

30 ( +37 / -7 )

Well, I will do my patriotic part, for the sake of the economy, and consume more beer! Who will join me!

26 ( +36 / -10 )

Well, I will do my patriotic part, for the sake of the economy, and consume more beer! Who will join me!

A true patriot!

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Hope that the Korean's enjoy drinking the world famous no.1 beer, Cass....

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Is there a need to buy imported more expensive, similar tasting beer?

Korean beer and Japanese beer have a very similar taste.

However, imported beer is more expensive.

As the Korean economy is not doing so well then The news that Koreans aren’t buying Japanese beer is to be expected.

To put the news into perspective,

I have never seen nor bought Korean beer in Japan...

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

The dispute between Japan and S. Korea should be settled in the international courts, not by boycotting beer.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Is there a need to buy imported more expensive, similar tasting beer?

Korean beer and Japanese beer have a very similar taste.

However, imported beer is more expensive.

As the Korean economy is not doing so well then The news that Koreans aren’t buying Japanese beer is to be expected.

To put the news into perspective,

I have never seen nor bought Korean beer in Japan...

Never drunk Cass? That p*ss water makes Budweiser taste like a premium beer.

And you never see Cass or Hite in Japan for the very reason that they taste awful.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

Not smart.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Does this fool in the photo actually think boycotting Japanese beer will hurt Japan? The rest of the world will easily make up the short fall in sales. There is a huge boom in Japanese beer around the world, because its mouth-watering. Cannot say the same for Korean beer!

4 ( +23 / -19 )

And you never see Cass or Hite in Japan for the very reason that they taste awful.

That's why they give it away on Asiana flights!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Weak dogs bark loud.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

This is a sobering topic. Korean beer is quite good but not on par with Japanese, German or Mexican beers.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Too bad for Koreans who like good beer.

One must remember, though, that this doesn't mean 97% of the people who like Japanese beer stopped buying because they hate Japan. The stores have been pressured to stop carrying it. They stop because they don't want trouble. The same with drinkers. They want to buy, but feel the social pressure, and fear they will be criticized if they are seen buying it.

Korean beer is simply not very good, by any accepted standard. Not sure why that is.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Koreans are the heavy drinkers in their group but when one drinks with foreign friend, they can't compete.

So they should just stick with their Soju, Khrrrrr! Sip Sekkya!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Ok latest fit in this long tantrum...

10 ( +14 / -4 )

That's why they give it away on Asiana flights!

Really @Yubaru? Lol. All this time I thought it was because Asiana was a Korean company.

I am not a beer fan. But Korean beer isn’t famous for its taste. Even among Koreans it is not known to taste good. That’s why it’s so cheap to drink beer in Korea where you can drink all night for $5. Korea makes its name in other forms of alcohol. Not beer.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Is there a need to buy imported more expensive, similar tasting beer?

Korean beer and Japanese beer have a very similar taste.

I thought the same. Gassy and bland. Nothing wrong with liking gassy and bland mind you.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

And in related news, nobody in Japan gave a damn.

Seriously. I just got back from visiting friends in Tokyo and we had a laugh about how a huge number of toilets in Korea are Toto so they have to boycott them too.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

This is a PR problem. Someone is stirring the excrement. Diplomacy is needed. Unfortunately Abe and his oyaji's idea of diplomacy is to stand up and shout.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

And, as per usual, absolutely no mention of the 156 cases of export violations by South Korea, and South Korea's refusal to meet with Japanese officials on multiple occasions to resolve the issue which could have averted this mess.

Just mention that this trade spat happened after South Korean Court's decision on compensation of forced laborers.

Journalism at its 'finest'

To this day the anti-Japan crowd has not given one valid reason why Japan was wrong in removing SK from the white list

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Unfortunately Abe and his oyaji's idea of diplomacy is to stand up and shout.

Really? I’ve thought their response has been fairly restrained.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

If they are boycotting Japanese beer, why don’t they also boycott hydrofluoric acid, the chemical that Samsung desperately needs to produce their microchips.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Never drunk Cass? That p*ss water makes Budweiser taste like a premium beer.

And you never see Cass or Hite in Japan for the very reason that they taste awful.

@Kari - As a fan of IPA style beers, all Asian lagers whether it be Kirin, Cass, Asahi or Chang all have the same bland taste to me and have no place in my fridge other than for summer barbecues with lots of guests.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

You know things are bad when beer is in the dispute.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I'm boycotting Korean goods - wife thinks I'm being petty but I don't care.

No more market O brownies for me ...

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Beer ban? There is no logic to such madness!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Honestly I used to think that it was just the South Korean government that was the problem, fueled by their own political agendas and chinese "investment". This boycott is displaying through the extremeness of their knee-jerk reactions how much of the Korean population has been brainwashed. Its so sad to see Korean friends of mine who have never expressed any Japan negativity, some of which who even have Japanese blood flowing through their veins, suddenly do a 180 and start trashing Japan. The worst part is, through Korean media, they are all completely misinformed on the facts of what actually happened!

19 ( +24 / -5 )

Just a comment on the photo chosen, but the man in the photo has made a banner about Japan dumping radiation, not about beer or wartime responsibilities.

If country A was about to dump a load of radiation in the ocean, I think you'd get protests in neighboring countries B and C pretty much anywhere in the world. This is regardless of any historical spats between countries A, B, and C.

fwiw, I personally think the Korean government is stoking the wartime protests to deflect public anger, but Japan dumping radiation is indefensible. Even if it gets diluted.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Let them drink whatever they want...is this even newsworthy at this point?! Haters gonna hate, that's all.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Children of Korea, calm down and look at yourselves. You have no friends. Will you announce a boycott of the 2020 Olympics in Japan next?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Yubaru

Well, I will do my patriotic part, for the sake of the economy, and consume more beer! Who will join me!

I would have loved to join you but I have to keep my sugar down.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most S Koreans would not come to Japan next year while they are strongly boycotting everything of Japan. They would stay home and drink nasty beer during Olympic games from TV.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

They would stay home and drink nasty beer during Olympic games from TV.

@kwatt - Korean lagers are bland like all Asian lagers but can it get any worse than the beer flavoured happoshu so popular in Japan? Truly nasty stuff.

As for the Olympics, avoiding the extreme heat, sipping ice cold lagers on the couch with the Olympics on prime time TV? The poor Koreans.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Some S. Koreans say that's political and many say it's social problem with Japan. Well, I don't care beer to be a escalating problem as this photo shows against Japan. I like Ale and IPA beers made in Japan but never to say Japanese beer the best to convince other country people to taste. Beer is free to choose, can be from any country if the price is along with the taste. I gave up Makkori and it's not political or social problem with S. Korea, I prefer Shochu made in J.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's hilarious how the author of this article (and author of most of the tabloid articles about Korea that are copied here from AFP/AP) tries to cast Japan in the same light as South Korea, like they are having this 'spat' because of equal input from both sides. No.

What's happening is this: South Korea is having a national meltdown because Japan removed preferential treatment of three sensitive high tech material exports that could be used for weapons manufacture. There are 156 violations which South Korea has not provided the requested information to Japan in order to regain preferential treatment. They can still purchase the high tech materials, just like the process China, Taiwan, Thailand etc have to go through. So they are nowhere near being 'punished' like they want everyone to believe who has a passing interest in Asia affairs... in other words, they are crying to passers-by.

In Japan, it's business as usual. No South Korean boycott will have any affect. There's literally no concern at all at ground level.

So the question now is, how low will South Korea go to try and smear Japan? They've played all their cards. They literally have to start lying in order to gain sympathy for their position, that they alone put themselves in.

This is exactly what happens when your leader says on record "we will never lose to Japan again". Really? At what cost to your image, economy and national wellbeing?

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Beer? How much can this size of a grain of sand help reduce the colossal mountain of over 25 billion dollar-deficit per year Korea just cannot not help but bear in its trade with Japan?   Why not have the guts to boycott the far higher priced Japanese machines or industrial equipment?  Oh, they do know if they did that, the Korean economy would collapse before their next pay day. 

They would stay home and drink nasty beer during Olympic games from TV

If they boycott using Japanese cameras and studio equipment, all their TV stations will shut down, and they will just listen to the Olympics on radios!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Park Lee-kim

Honestly I used to think that it was just the South Korean government that was the problem, fueled by their own political agendas and chinese "investment". This boycott is displaying through the extremeness of their knee-jerk reactions how much of the Korean population has been brainwashed. Its so sad to see Korean friends of mine who have never expressed any Japan negativity, some of which who even have Japanese blood flowing through their veins, suddenly do a 180 and start trashing Japan. The worst part is, through Korean media, they are all completely misinformed on the facts of what actually happened!

"Knee-jerk" is the word I would use to describe the reactions of a majority of Japanese and expats posting on JT on every single piece of reporting on anything related to South Korea :)

And I don't think Koreans are really misinformed: reading this site and Yahoo informed me more about the general Japanese sentiments on Koreans than all the so-called anti-Japanese history textbooks did.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

How are Japanese imports of Korean beer?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

What's happening is this: South Korea is having a national meltdown because Japan removed preferential treatment of three sensitive high tech material exports that could be used for weapons manufacture. 

@Hill - Are you easily influenced by news reports of Koreans holding banners?

It represents a tiny vocal minority, while the rest of the country is going about their day, the one difference being they are choosing alternatives to Japanese goods where possible, over what they perceive as an effort by Japan to impact SK's economy.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Dear S. Korean people,

You don't have to agree with what the Abe administration did... But boycotting everything Japanese is the wrong approach to handling current issues.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japan wants to boycott South Korean products, but it doesn't use much in the first place.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

intlobserverToday  09:27 am JST

 Why not have the guts to boycott the far higher priced Japanese machines or industrial equipment? Oh, they do know if they did that, the Korean economy would collapse before their next pay day. 

They would stay home and drink nasty beer during Olympic games from TV

If they boycott using Japanese cameras and studio equipment, all their TV stations will shut down, and they will just listen to the Olympics on radios!

Actually the radio signal would originate from Japan and be classed as an import as well. Ha.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This is all so primitive, it is like an Asian Brexit. The Koreans have had an issue about war time slavery. Deal with that issue like Germany has. Tearing up trade just hurts workers and if you posters think the Japanese brewers can make up for this loss, you are crazy! Who is going to buy lackluster beer. Any German or Belgium Pilsner knocks them flat. But go ahead and wage war on workers in the name of patriotism, trump would be proud!!

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Japan wants to boycott South Korean products, but it doesn't use much in the first place.

I guess one way to do it is to boycott any electronics using Korean-made chips and display panels. You know.. IPhone.. maybe?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

HeckleberryToday  09:41 am JST

*What's happening is this: South Korea is having a national meltdown because Japan removed preferential treatment of three sensitive high tech material exports that could be used for weapons manufacture. *

@Hill - Are you easily influenced by news reports of Koreans holding banners?

Hi Heckleberry, nice to see you struggling to comprehend my comments again. To answer, no I'm not. If you examine my comment properly, it explains that this 'spat' is not a back-and-forth match between two equal sovereign nations. It's between South Korea (who relies enormously on Japan's goodwill and tech transfer) and Japan (who should treat South Korea the same as any other Asian country, but instead gave them undeserved preferential treatment as a goodwill gesture).

It's the misrepresentation by the South Korean journalist that I wanted to correct.

It represents a tiny vocal minority, while the rest of the country is going about their day, the one difference being they are choosing alternatives to Japanese goods where possible, over what they perceive as an effort by Japan to impact SK's economy.

The photo shows yet another angle of the government sponsored move to try and impact Japan. Look at the lengths they have to go to... why won't the South Korean government step in and provide Japan with more information about the 156 re-export violations to North Korea? Will it link them to other activity which is in direct defiance of sactions against NK?

This can't end well for South Korea if they continue on this path. They should act like the ally they are and cooperate with Japan.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

So will Japanese beer become cheaper will so much beer stuck in Japan? not

Btw, I buy Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo for half the price or less in Hawaii.

12 bottles or cans for $7- 10.

Go figure.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Can someone please explain to me what Japan is getting out of this dispute. It has a huge trade surplus with SK, which is now rapidly disappearing.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A 97% decrease in annual $90 million a year sales ain't no chump change for any business. Japan's failed diplomacy is costing the country.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Mitsubishi bad! Boycott Asahi! What madness!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Can someone please explain to me what Japan is getting out of this dispute.

Nothing at all. Japan never wanted this dispute. The Korean government came to a "final and irreversible" agreement with the Japanese government, negotiated in good faith by both sides, to find an end to the decades of problems. And they succeeded.

Then the next Korean president came in, decided the agreement was neither final nor irreversible, and has spent the past three years whipping up the Korean populace into an anti-Japanese frenzy. But they have not made any new demands, to come to a new "final and irreversible" agreement. Then their courts started putting out judgements for cases against Japanese companies, further proving that the "final and irreversible agreement" was neither final nor irreversible by Korean standards.

So, Japan dropped preferential trading status for Korea as a result.

And here we are.

Japan negotiated a "final and irreversible" agreement in good faith. Korea then spit in their faith and demanded... well actually no one knows what they're demanding, as they for some reason have decided that their demands are a secret, and it's up to Japan to figure out what they are.

Talk about being inept at international relations, and negotiation. You'd think they only just became independent as a country, and not a couple of generations ago.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Tearing up trade just hurts workers and if you posters think the Japanese brewers can make up for this loss, you are crazy! Who is going to buy lackluster beer.

Quite a few countries buy Japanese beer, though it is often brewed in-country under license rather than imported.

A 97% decrease in annual $90 million a year sales ain't no chump change for any business.

That's across the entire industry, not one business. And since breweries make billions, it isn't that much of a hit.

The real threat to Japan breweries is the rise of microbreweries, which have been steadily encroaching on the beers sales of the giants. This Korea dispute is just a bump in the road compared to that.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan should consider trade with sk is non-existent. Maybe Japan should quit sending the material that sk needs badly. I'm sick of tje negativity. Go away.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Their loss. Let 'em drink their crappy beers.

Japanese beer makers should hit up other markets more.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

It’s our patriotic duty to drink an extra beer to remedy the situation. Let’s do our best!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Japan's failed diplomacy is costing the country.

This is not a problem of diplomacy. Its a problem of Japanese companies, with the support of the Japanese government, refusing to pay their debts. Primarily its about greed. But secondarily, its about refusal admit crimes committed during the war era.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

For South Korea’s sake, I hope they are drinking their craft beers, which are pretty good.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Really @Yubaru? Lol. All this time I thought it was because Asiana was a Korean company.

I guess you and about 10 other people have a hard time reading sarcasm!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hope they're importing from somewhere else, then, because Korean beer sucks far more than Japanese beer.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

There is no law in South Korea which states that a beer drinker must buy and drink Japanese beer.

What beer Koreans drink is their business and their choice.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

there are a lot more important things than beer sales

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When convenience stores started selling Japanese craft beer, even I stopped drinking the bland pilsners from the 'big four'. The far superior offerings from Yo-Ho Brewing, Ginga Kogen, etcetera, might account for that 3% of Japanese exports that they just.. can't... stop... drinking!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Children of Korea, calm down and look at yourselves. You have no friends. Will you announce a boycott of the 2020 Olympics in Japan next?

Who'll miss them?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Pick a unfair fight and this is what happen. Nothing new. Japan is lucky that export of anything else have not gone this way.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Korean beer and Japanese beer have a very similar taste.

Absolutely not. Japanese beers are good examples of pilsner lager, whereas Korean beer tastes more like hapochu.

And I have always been primarily an ale drinker if I can lay my hands on it (for over 25 years), but can easily tell the difference in quality between these lagers.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You can buy craft/ale beers on Amazon also stores like Aeon too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good. More beer for me! I make sure to have an extra Yebisu tonight.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wow, they're nice ionizing radiation symbols.

Korea, you're a champion of childishness!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Korean beer and Japanese beer have a very similar taste

Actually, wrong. Japanese beer is delicious, and I cant stop drinking. Korean beer, for instance Hite, is undrinkable, I cant even finish 1 can! Even my dog will refuse to drink it!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Actually, wrong. Japanese beer is delicious, and I cant stop drinking. Korean beer, for instance Hite, is undrinkable, I cant even finish 1 can! Even my dog will refuse to drink it!

Not a patch on VB though, cobber.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not a patch on VB though, cobber.

@Jimi - Lost all credibility right there.. VB isn't known as Vomit Beer for nothing. The smell of it does recall the uni days, dank old pubs with damp carpets, bouncers on power trips etc but how was I to know what good beer was back then..

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The text on the photo should be changed to “Japan, please sell them”.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This boycott is displaying through the extremeness of their knee-jerk reactions how much of the Korean population has been brainwashed.

@"Park Lee Kim" - 'Brainwashed' by whom? Their government? That is not the adjective I'd use to describe a nation whose people orchestrated major anti-government protests by their tens of millions for several months, resulting in their supreme court finding their president guilty of corruption and impeached, and jailed.

Interesting choice of username by the way.. 3 most common Korean surnames.. hmmmm.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japan should consider trade with sk is non-existent. Maybe Japan should quit sending the material that sk needs badly. I'm sick of tje negativity. Go away.

@kawai - In other words, 'how dare the Koreans stop buying Japanese beer'?

Does this fool in the photo actually think boycotting Japanese beer will hurt Japan? The rest of the world will easily make up the short fall in sales. There is a huge boom in Japanese beer around the world, because its mouth-watering. 

@Ganbare - SK is the no. 1 export market for Japanese beer, for 61% all Japanese exports. And you're asking if a 97% drop in exports to SK would have any impact? Even if there were some exponential growth in other markets like you claim, it would struggle to make up for the shortfall caused by a massive drop in exports to SK.

From Reuters:

South Korea buys 61% of Japan’s beer exports, spending 7.9 billion yen ($73 million) in 2018 on the shipments, according to Japan’s finance ministry.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-japan-labourers-beer/south-korean-boycott-hits-japanese-beer-imports-idUSKCN1UX099

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Should these two countries rather break off diplomatic relations than fussing about trivial things like imported beer? We all know SK is about flipping 1965 basic treaty over.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japanese beer is overpriced and only average compared to European beer, koreans should import from Europe,

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yes, Japanese beer is a little expensive outside of Japan...but Korean beer? Oh my god, the most awful tasting sh*t ever! Even Japanese non-alcohol beers taste better!!!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Lemme guess: the same right wing rubes who cream over Trump's trade war with China think South Korean nationalists beer ban is childish and stupid?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japanese are quick to give an ersatz apology at the slightest offense, such as a bump on the subway or other little thing, but when it really matters they dig their heels in and refuse to sincerely apologize and atone for the wrong they have done.

So much wretched harm was done by imperial Japan to the (helped by prime minister Shinzo Abe's grandfather, no less), though the average Japanese person knows little of this because their school history books whitewash the matter.

Just apologize substantially and compensate your victims properly, Japan, and then people like the South Koreans will stop complaining.

Otherwise the trade backlash against you will continue and, at best, it will be a pyrrhic victory for you. At worst, you may realize that the sun can set again in Japan as China overshadows you (something nobody but the Chinese wants).

Alienating South Korea and it's people amid rising threats from North Korea and China, and as America becomes relatively weak an inward looking, is foolish pride at it's dangerous worst.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Both countries make many excellent beers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Beer whatevs is just a sympton of the problem, obviously. When world leaders are petty like Abe and Trump, it leads to pissing contests that become bigger problems. If they'd just figure out diplomacy and talk like adults, escalating dumb trade wars don't happen. It isn't hard to see when Trump is playing footsy with Kim, and he and Abe are smiley facing golf strokes, while all three are nationalistic dotards, providing influence on nationalistic dotards in their respective countries, it leads to disputes of nationalistic false pride in many countries, and in this case, between two similar countries in Japan and South Korea.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

CanadianExpat is right.

The estranged relationship between Japan and South Korea has remained problematic over the decades largely because of Japan’s refusal to sincerely apologize for its wartime atrocities. This is about unresolved damage during Japan’s colonial rule. Although the War is in the past, the anger will remain fresh.

The US needs to play a more visible and proactive role in bringing its two allies together. With growing tensions with China and North Korea, the US, Japan and South Korean alliance needs to remain unwavering.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I bet the Japanese beer makers are pissed off at the Japanese and Korean government trade officials.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I bet the Japanese beer makers are pissed off at the Japanese and Korean government trade officials.

Like the soybean farmers in America

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Kind of hard to maintain good relationship with neighbors who think rape and pillaging and then denying it is par for course. Why focus on beer and on not on the array of other industries that are taking significant dents from this stupid trade dispute?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Korean beer is garbage

So is Japanese beer. LOL both taste like budweiser light if it fell off the back of the car, landed in sewage and a cat peed all over it. Wait, that bud would taste better. Two lamers arguing about whose country beer tastes better. Theyre BOTH garbage LOL, take it from an American who knows his beer. You guys just drink piss

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

As an American, both beers are garbage. Don't know why you girls are yelling at each other. They both taste like piss and no american would drink either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I liked my time with OB and fried chicken-a fond memory!

Also, there are some fine craft beer makers in Korea...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

take it from an American who knows his beer. You guys just drink piss

U.S. English beer

U.K. English piss

Nyuk nyuk!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese beer is awesome. I had a great time in Japan a few years ago trying them all lol. Love the can designs too. We only have one mainstream beer in the UK and that's Asahi. Give us some of that Sapporo, Ebisu, Asahi off shoots etc. I'll drink them if SK doesn't want them!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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