politics

Angry South Koreans accuse Japan of 'economic invasion'

48 Comments
By Jung Yeon-je

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© 2019 AFP

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48 Comments

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An invasion would be dumping products. This is more like an embargo.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

...authorities in Gangnam -- the wealthy Seoul district made famous worldwide by Korean rapper Psy -- said they will remove all Japanese flags from their streets

This is absolutely heart breaking.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Invasion? Like getting in forcedly, like that? Japan is moving away from the chaos that is S Korea. It is taking away a privilege they previously granted, it was never S Korea as a given. .

31 ( +34 / -3 )

Intersting "public" reaction by SK. Contrived or not, their entire "attitude" is beyond "normal" towards Japan.

It will be much more interesting if the Japanese people "really" got the facts and actually "reacted" to their now ominous "threats". They are actually inciting physical action which can lead to war.

There is one word that may still come back to Japan.. "gaman". Japanes people are one of the few people that when united and persevere, their willingness to bear the burden as when recovering from the tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic activities can be a powerful force when faced with any major crisis that affects the entire nation.

Then again, the big proble with this article is to sound the WWII atrocities again as the cause. Which in effect brings back the idea of a war or actual physical confrontation. This was an industrial and security issue that affects both SK and Japan economically. It is not a one sided negative effect. It hurts both sides.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Welp, I hope that Korean people are ready for a wild rollercoaster ride. Things will be hectic for the next couple of months for the Korean people.

Honestly, their only hope is to impeach Moon and his current government.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

There is one other aspect to all this... SK is playing the world stage again. World opinion can be a problem for both countries.

But lest all forget... the actual actions and roles SK plays and Japan plays in the international arena is known to be very different, earning a different kind of "respect". That may eventually make a major difference in the outcome.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Soooo the special agreement ends, it doesn't stop shipments just takes longer, they "don't want Japan stuff anyway" but economic invasion?

This is getting beyond silly.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

I swear the sheer amount of coverage of this day after day is a ploy to distract while Abe rams through legislation to change the Constitution.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

South Korea removes Japan from its list of trusted partners.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Don't these people know shame? Japan just like any other nation in the world have the rights to decide what product enter or leave their country. The fact that SK have been enjoying these benefits the last few years has made them spoiled. Should have kick them off the list long ago. Because clearly they were ungrateful and still holding a lot of grudges inside from the past.

25 ( +29 / -4 )

What Japan exports to South Korea may be used for North Korean missiles.

It is a natural right for Japan to try to stop it.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

I have read through many posts and articles those from Japan and SKorea, but from what I have learned in research, this matter was settled a very long time ago from a financial standpoint and Japan has not started a SKorean economic showdown. Even so I have yet to see any SKorean products burned, damaged or stomped in public. South Koreans have forgotten how Japan has provided over the many years support and business to SK when it didn't have to. SK refused the direct payment to victims back in 1965 and mid 80s. Research further shows that in the mid 80s exchange of funding the funds were to be paid to the victims but instead was spent on other infrastructure projects and modernization of its infrastructure. Feel free to research, how many of you have seen mass demonstration against SK or burning another country's flag.

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Meh. This is getting old. Just ignore them.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

When I went to SK a couple of years ago, there were anti Japanese ads in the train written in both Korean and English about Japan's aggression and brutality during the war. I was shocked that would be allowed on public transport and surprised so many years later there was such a strong 'hatred' towards the Japanese. So, what is happening today has been years in the making

26 ( +28 / -2 )

We really need independent journalism please. The first sentence is inflammatory and unnecessary.

accused former colonial power Japan

Is Germany now described as former nazis Germany? Or Italy as former fascists Italy? No they are not.

By Jung Yeon-je

Agence France Presse should know better than to run a piece that is obviously biased.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

This is not a trade ban. By removing South Korea from the white list, Japanese firms that trade with the country need to fill out additional paperwork to the Japanese government to acquire a export permit for certain items. South Korea was the only Asian country on the list, so Taiwanese and Chinese tech companies have been going through this same process for years. It is more a regulation on the part of the Japanese government to keep track of each export’s destination.

Contrary to the Korean media’s sensational reports of a massive GDP contraction (which is based on the false assumption that this is a ban), a Goldman Sachs report from July 21 states that the effects of the removal will be temporary and will return to normal once companies get used to the paperwork. Disruptions to Japanese-Korean trade will occur, but they will be limited in the sense that any slowdown will be caused by companies being unfamiliar with filing out the new forms for the first time.

See Bloomberg article: Goldman, BofAML See Limited Disruption From Japan-Korea Spat

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-22/goldman-bofaml-see-limited-disruption-from-japan-korea-spat

Anti-Japanese nationalism is playing a significant role in the Korean popular response to the white list removal. Where were they when Trump threatened steel and car tariffs on Korean companies? Most businesses in Korea that trade with Japan do not know what the white list changes mean, even though they are the ones who are most likely to hire expensive corporate lawyers to read through this stuff. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that the various civic associations and media outlets that are mobilizing the Korean people to boycott Japanese goods grasp the details beyond a handful of such slogans as “economic invasion.”

Financial Post: S.Korea launches 'Let's Learn Japan's Restrictions' website for puzzled businesses

https://www.google.com/amp/s/business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/s-korea-launches-lets-learn-japans-restrictions-website-for-puzzled-businesses/amp

17 ( +19 / -2 )

I think the medias of South Korea have problems. They are not objective and inciting nationalism. Papers sell better when they report anti-Japan stories.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

The beginning of collapse of Abe administration !

Be nice to your neighbor.

Japan, pursuit of Peace and Harmony......LOL

No more joke and hypocrasy, Abe Shinjo.

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

A clickbait article, let the racist rhetoric begin.

I swear the sheer amount of coverage of this day after day is a ploy to distract while Abe rams through legislation to change the Constitution.

@smith - You don't say.. surely only SK uses nationalist sentiments as a smokescreen?

This move will backfire on Japan. How long before SK puts a travel ban on Japan, alleging serious and dangerous radiation levels in Japan, not least from franchise restaurants thatbuse cheap Fukushima produce?

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

vanityofvanities.....

"I  think the medias of South Korea have problems. They are not objective and inciting nationalism. Papers sell better when they report anti-Japan stories."

You could say the exact same thing about Japan.

At least SK appears to have a kind of democracy.

In Japan even the supposedly neutral NHK is afraid to say anything even slightly critical of Abe.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

It seems like it won't matter what Japan does. Condemn SK, or appease SK, the result will be the same - non-stop Japan bashing

15 ( +18 / -3 )

“The Abe government distorts history and commits economic invasion!”

Mmm... as chants go, it’s not quite up there with “ Two world wars and one World Cup!”, is it?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Talk about a one sided article from AFP. How about reporting on the 2015 agreement rhay Korea have ripped up and ignored?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

You could say the exact same thing about Japan.

At least SK appears to have a kind of democracy.

In Japan even the supposedly neutral NHK is afraid to say anything even slightly critical of Abe.

@Spitfire - You dropped a truth bomb there. Japan is a pseudo-democracy at best. But your opinion will be highly unpopular here.

It seems like it won't matter what Japan does. Condemn SK, or appease SK, the result will be the same - non-stop Japan bashing

@Blackflag - I love the "nothing Japan will do will ever be enough for SK" posts, seen thousands over the years. Has Japan tried coming clean about their past aggression, and openly acknowledging this as a country, teaching their youth about true history rather than portraying themselves as the victims? The current PM Abe has openly denied Japan's wartime aggression. That's enough said isn't it? Has Angela Merkel denied the Holocaust?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1544471/Japanese-PM-denies-wartime-comfort-women-were-forced.html

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Pathetic Korea, you're just being pathetic!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

This mess is so ridiculous that I wonder if somehow North Korea is behind it. Are South Korean people that stupid?

15 ( +19 / -4 )

@Heckleberry Today  06:31 pm JST

OK, Heckleberry. Please provide your estimate of how "big" Japan's apology has to be (in financial and freedom terms), then substantiate the calculation.

Because the only "close" example is Germany, and not only are they in a much more favorable environment, but it doesn't even work for them. The losses are eternal as can be seen by the payouts they still have to choke up from time to time.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

 I wonder if somehow North Korea is behind it.

The absurdity of this claim is beyond ludicrous. Have you picked up a history book in recent memory? Why make absurd comments that only serve to enhance your ignorance?

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

OK, Heckleberry. Please provide your estimate of how "big" Japan's apology has to be (in financial and freedom terms), then substantiate the calculation.

It's incredible how you absolutely do not get it. I'll try and spell it out.

Money might seem as the most important thing in this discourse but it's just a fraction of what's required. When the German model is called for, it includes the irreversible contrite apology from Japan. This implies teaching real historical facts not fantasies, creating punitive measures to ban hate speech and acts against humanity, seize the veneration of war criminals, to but a few.

Theres no amount of money on this planet that can pay for the lives destroyed during Japan's rampage. Absolutely none.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

If the average American knew how protective the Japanese economy is they'd demand the end of Japan growing it's economy by selling products to Americans.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Why all the fuss?

South Korea doesn't need Japan; these products are easy to make; there are thousands of suppliers out there; Russia materials are purer and better than Japan's; China is ready to jump in and take Japan's place; Japan is cutting its own nose, etc, etc, etc.

That was/is what JT "expertise" has been saying all this time. SK DOESN'T NEED JAPAN!!!

So, let Japan choke on their own vomit.

Japan should not relent until the Koreans put up a massive Gangnam style dance and say sorry.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

They 1965 treaty and payments Japan made to Korea legally settled this issue. Mr. Moon and his policies have implemented the PRK's desire to split South Korea and Japan. I expect Japan to respond in kind to every attack South Korea makes. Eventually, Japan may move its companies out. While facing the PRK South Korea should cultivate its friends better. Japan may say don't come asking if the PRK attacks you.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

If the South Koreans are holding grudges from back in 1592, well, there's nothing much to say except, 'Get over it or your country will continue to have a kind of national mental depression for the next 5 centuries too'!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@Wallace FredToday 06:46 pm JST

This implies teaching real historical facts not fantasies,

In practice, as defined by the Koreans.

creating punitive measures to ban hate speech

As defined by the Koreans

and acts against humanity

As defined by the Koreans

cease the veneration of war criminals, to but a few.

Thus, as I said, as significant price in terms of free will and freedom, for eternity. This is VERY expensive, Wallace, with no guarantees it'll even work.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The absurdity of this claim is beyond ludicrous. Have you picked up a history book in recent memory? Why make absurd comments that only serve to enhance your ignorance?

@Wallace - Couldn't agree more.

OK, Heckleberry. Please provide your estimate of how "big" Japan's apology has to be (in financial and freedom terms), then substantiate the calculation.

@Kazuki - You already know that the current PM Abe has on countless number of occasions attempted to whitewash, deny, and downplay Japanese war crimes. But you choose to ignore it. Japan doesn't need to apologise every 4.5 seconds. They simply need to openly acknowledge their past wrongs and put a stop to their denials. I can link 100 stories about Shinzo denying history. Can you link 1 story of Angela Merkel denying their history?

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Sponsored by china.

They don't want Japan & Korea to be on friendly terms. Now S. Korea will buy from china.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

This mess is so ridiculous that I wonder if somehow North Korea is behind it. Are South Korean people that stupid?

@GyGene - you mean the 6 people in the photo? You realise they are 6 people who chose to protest, as is their democratic right? You realise that by calling a nation of 5 million people stupid based on a handful of photos of a handful of protesters, you are falling hook line and sinker for the clickbait article calling racists to arms?

Money might seem as the most important thing in this discourse but it's just a fraction of what's required. When the German model is called for, it includes the irreversible contrite apology from Japan. This implies teaching real historical facts not fantasies, creating punitive measures to ban hate speech and acts against humanity, seize the veneration of war criminals, to but a few.

@Wallace - but if you listen to the JT crowd, uttering some apologies should do, and SK should ignore high ranking Japanese politicians all the way up to the current PM of Japan denying, downplaying and whitewashing history at every opportunity. What you've said has been said before countless times, but the JT crowd inevitably come back to 'but Japan has apologised, SK needs to move on' line of reasoning. They will never get it.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

In practice, as defined by the Koreans

Newsflash!!! Teaching actual facts is what advanced democracies actually do. Incredible that I have to even say that.

. This is VERY expensive, Wallace, with no guarantees it'll even work.

No one said it's perfect but Germany is a good place to atleast start. I'll be honest. Way too many countries were wreaked by japan and as the years progress and those countries actually mature economically, we might not even be here anymore but by then they'll most assuredly raise claims. Will Japan pay them all off?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Fighting it amounted to "South Korea's second independence movement" against Japan, he said.

‘Second independence movement’... yet they want Japan to stop making it harder for Korea to be dependent on them.

I think some Koreans are confused about what ‘independence’ means...

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I'm 100% behind Abe on this. War reparations were paid, for the S. Korean's to again and again go after Japan on this issue is just plain idiocy and wrong. Stay firm Japan.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Are people stupid? The article says there were “about 30 protesters.” Look at the picture - there are more police than protesters. Let’s not imagine that the world has stopped in SK and people are hysterically demonstrating en masse. It was 30 people out of 20 million in the Seoul metro area. Why does JPN media publish clickbait like this to inflame sentiment in Japan? It’s irresponsible.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Why are Koreans protesting to Japan about the ban that stops them from being able to sell Japanese imported technology to North Korea so they can use it for military purposes?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

$10 bucks says NOT ONE of those protesters is successful in life.

People who hit the streets over that stuff are channeling their rage at not knowing how to get their lives on track. Same with those speaker van dorks in Japan. Same with 'death to america' people in certain countries.

Losers. The lot of 'em.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

HeckleberryToday  08:21 pm JST

Its disgustingly shameful. Disagreement is ok. It's the historical denialism and revisionism that shocks me to the core.

@Wallace - Most people posting on Japan Today are Japanophiles. They live in Japan, lived in Japan, or have married Japanese spouses. Even if they were neutral to start with, can you blame them for forming racist attitudes against Korea when 99% to 100% of articles about SK posted here are negative in nature? They are blind to their own bias, and justify their vile racist comments as they only understand Korea from the viewpoint of Japan-Korea disputes, in which they invariably take Japan's side.

WRONG. You don't even know how JT was like a few years ago. It was totally opposite. Comments section

used to be full of anti-Japan comments. Fortunately, the more non-Japanese live here and understand all those disputes, the more the pendulum has been swinging to just neutral.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I don't like this govt. of Abe but that S. Korean govt. leaders are so arrogant to me. The only way to go well with them are the citizens from both sides don't care those guys. never to listen listen only politicians. Cultural and tourism make a better understanding. Govt. changes and starts again, for God sake USA too much involved and avoiding what the point of this issue?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well, hopefully SK will retaliate by stopping all exports of kimuchi to Japan.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Yeah, whatever. Protests in Korea are about the Japanese or about their own government, and will probably never stop. For young people in Japan, colonial times were a long, long time ago. They don’t, and won’t, care about it. If Korea wants good relations with Japan, that is possible. If they want bad relations, that is achievable as well, though it is unnecessary and unfortunate. Meanwhile, back in the present, these protests or further escalations of tension are not encouraging whitelist status, but are demonstrating that removal was a good idea.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Quote ''I feel that Japan has always been the same since the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592," Cho Hyun-joo, president of the Seoul Young Korean Academy NGO," 

This Koreans feel this way. Going back to 1592.

That has nothing to do with Japan today in 2019. This people are stuck in the past mentality. They are living in the past, and make their decisions base on the past.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

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