politics

Japan-S Korea spat an economic lose-lose for both countries

46 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa and Etienne Balmer

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All blame lies with South Korea, don't let the anti-Japan crowd here let you think otherwise. These people have still not come up with one valid reason why Japan was wrong to remove South Korea from white list.

16 ( +32 / -16 )

We all do what we have to do.

Japan would've kept losing its dignity and face and technology and money if this hadn't happened.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

It's the time to look for the new way for Japan and SK. It's the dependent and separate way. Temporarily it's with pain. But in the long run, it's the good way for both countries. It's the time to say good by with sincere sympathy. It's the way to peace.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

South Korea started it. Japan and PM Abe are just standing up for themselves strongly against a bully. The Japanese economy wont suffer at all from the so called "boycotts ": other nations are hungry for Japanese goods and will easily take up the slack. On the other side, SK is heading for a Great Depression.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

"Six out of 10 small and mid-sized firms will not be able to stand the measures for more than six months," he warned."

No need to worry; we're constantly reminded, (right here - JT) that South Korea is just going to find alternatives in a couple of days.

However, it all boils down to this:

"That is in part because Japan is much less dependent on South Korean products than vice-versa."

Korea fails to realise they are not in Japan's league and probably never will; a "moribund" Japan still got far more than Korea can handle.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

South Korea started it

Until both countries mature we won’t see the end of spats.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Both will suffer, but i would say that, the damage to the South Korean economy is more self-inflicted by the SK government's response to the export restrictions, than caused by the export restrictions themselves. By spending so much tax money into helping these big companies, they are diverting resources and credit away from the private sector, so now the banks will have less money to loan the small and mid-size companies. SK government is sacrificing the small and mid-size companies which are the at the core of their economy for 3 big corporations. Like i said on day 1. All SK needs to do is stay away and let their companies deal with it. They are big boys, they will figure it out. The government should not be diverting capital away from the private sector. They could help their economy by cutting down taxes and red tape, that would help them more. Ultimately, there are no winners in a trade war. It is a race to the bottom.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

And even the boycott of Uniqlo has a knock-on effect, because the firm is managed in South Korea by a joint venture in which South Korea's Lotte holds a 49 percent stake.

LoL didnt know this. And what happened to Mr. Japanese companies will all run off to SK?

And didn't they decide to get rid of the banners or did SK put them back up in the middle of the night?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Politicians from all walks of life must formate foreign policy for the present generation.

Japan people have a unique devotion to peaceful coexistence with their neighbours,

There are exceptions of course, cranky old political has beens, that never were, afforded undue publicity to hype their poisonous dogma.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

S.Korea started this issue by allowing their court ruling to go back on the 1965 aggrement.

The cost of covering all the possible lawsuits and compensation will be in billions over 700,000 S. Koreans can apply and say pay me again too.

North Korea

Can also say wait a minute here... We are poor! We have force labor too, evil Japan, pay poor North Korea as well.

The numbers range from 40 billion dollars up to 80 billion if you add North Korea future claims.

Pay rich S. Korea again because it has done so well for relations giving them apologies and compensation. They like Japan so much their willing to set themselves on fire.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

South Korea should make the first move.

It's their fault.

Since I've been in Japan, this kind of thing seems to happen every few years. It appears that S. Korea is more jealous of Japan than angry at Japan.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

All blame lies with South Korea

So you're willing to discount the fact that this all begun after abe and his regime were sidelined I'm the noko proceedings? Right after trump stepped into noko? How in the world can you claim this when it's clear as day this is blatant vindictiveness.

Pay rich S. Korea again

So you're suggesting SoKo pays off it's own victims for the crimes perpetrated by japan?

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

I'm just surprised at how much and how quickly this has all escalated. This spat plus the US China trade war will make world politics and economy extremely interesting to watch, say the least

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So much fake news. Japan blocked export on dangerous materials to South Korea because they're internal controls on those substances were not being monitored and being sold on the black market. The ww2 crap is Korea's excuse for their incompetence. It's like equivalent to calling someone a racist when you don't agree with them; it's defamation and only used to keep their population inline, a propaganda tool to keep the Korean people from rising against their corrupt government by the constant raising of ghost of the past. It's all so tiresome.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

This could be a "lose-lose" for more than Korea and Japan.

The conflict is a "win" for China and North Korea and a "lose" for the U.S.

Yes; this is a conflict that should be resolved between South Korea and Japan - I fully get that but still...I believe the U.S. foreign policy in Asia under the current administration is less than awful. Although the U.S. is not responsible for the actions of each country and each country is a sovereign nation based on the history and relationships the U.S. has with both countries I think if the U.S. had reasonable East Asian policy perhaps this could have been tempered down.

I will give Trump points some credit for actually meeting Kim (of North Korea) which has obviously not helped matters but at least they met but other than that as a long term resident of Asia from the U.S.

I do not like China's political system (i.e. disallowing access to information, social credit system, etc.) and I would not want to live there but I believe that we will look back and see this specific year as the year that the balance of power in East Asia has tipped significantly toward China.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The following has been quoted here but needs to be quoted again:

Joint statement by Japanese attorneys on the Korean Supreme Court ruling regarding victims of forced labor, November 5, 2018:

The [South Korean Supreme Court Ruling] ruling is in line with advances in international human rights law that values remedies for individual victims

> The notion that an individual’s right to seek compensation for serious human rights infringements, as reflected in this particular case, cannot be unilaterally extinguished by intergovernmental agreements without the consent of the victim can be found in other international examples (for instance, the Italian Supreme Court ruling regarding the Italian victims of a Nazi massacre in Civitella). This notion, which is not unusual in international circles, is the result of advances made in international human rights law to find effective remedies for human rights infringements against individuals (see Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Thus, the Korean Supreme Court’s ruling cannot be “impossible in light of international law.”

In short, Abe is wrong, Abe created the current problem and Abe should resign.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

3 year of requesting for 30 % of missing materials is proof enough for japan n moon n sk supreme court chief justice named abe should resign very fast to save sk

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No! NO! This is a WIN-WIN scenario for both countries! The win-win is not just for both countries but all east asia pacific countries as well! This is the begining of South Korea's exit of US lead military alliances in the Pacific which is a castastropic unstable factor of security! And Japan will consider their own situation in asia with almost all hostile neighbourhood, she must rethink about herself need to rebalance her strategy of over leaning to U.S.!  These two countries' present unfriendly atmosphere will be gone as times goes by!  Asian people should credits President "Moon JaeIn" 's defiance to stand up against that arrogance Abe for leading Asia to a better future with dignity! The first thing must do is : Termination the US-S.Korea alliance!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Take the high road. How do you say this in Korean?

Take the high road. How do you say this in Japanese?

Does this concept not exist in either country?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Moon is to blame, he was supposed to use his executive powers and nullify the court rulings though it will be against the ideal of the judicial being independent of legislation.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@jean

Yes Those joint statements by Korean, Korean-Japanese and Japanese lawyers has been quoted here too often by a poster, which is just a joint statement by a group of people, which basically suggesting out-of-court settlements. It is particularly fishy as they omitted the final outcome that Italy lost to Germany in the case of Civitella at ICJ

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I don't know whether it is deliberate or not but there is no mention of losses to Japanese companies if Samsung,LG and Hynix change to alternative non Japanese sources for raw materials or have other non korean manufacturers going to fill the lost sales?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

South Koreans were the second largest contingent of foreign visitors to Japan last year, just behind visitors from China, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Might want to mention that Korean tourists were dead last in consumption amount per person. Only 78,804 yen. By far the lowest.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Might want to mention that Korean tourists were dead last in consumption amount per person. Only 78,804 yen. By far the lowest.

Well argued, Nigel boy, well argued! The South Korean spending figures have actually dropped to 77, 559yen per person per stay, which means they are hardly contributing to Japanese economy. Australians are the big spenders at 242,050, followed by Spain, Italy and PRC. Yes, even the Communist PRC citizens spends about 3 times more than South Koreans on average!

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00380/overseas-visitor-spending-slows-in-japan-australians-spend-most-on-average.html

In conclusion, a loss of SK tourists is not a loss. They simply do not have the money or want to spend money in Japan. Just attract more of the big spenders mentioned above.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Resentment against Japan's harsh rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945 runs so deep in the mind of the Koreans that it might be almost impossible for the two countries to come to a genuine reconciliation and friendship how many times Japan may apologize or how much compensation it may pay.

I'm becoming more and more pessimistic.

What lesson does this teach us? The posterity must recompense for the mistakes their forefathers committed, forever. The powers that be must know this and therefore they must act very fairly and prudently as far as foreign relations are concerned. Did Japan do right things in pre-war Korea?  The nonchalant hubris on the part of a dominant country today may be a heavy debt for later generations.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The downgrading of South Korea’s trade status has nothing to do with “wartime forced labor.” Nearly 30 percent of sensitive goods with military use SK imported from Japan are unaccounted for and SK government has ignored Japan ‘s repeated requests to reveal end users, which are most likely rogue nations that support international terrorism.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I don't know, don't care about the case of Korea, but I see Japan resilient and adaptive to an emerging situation or crisis. Much unlike to Korea, the country's economy is not export-driven with most goods & services produced and consumed within its soil. Boycott Japan-campaigns give limited impacts.

Japan's long-term strategy is to keep some distance from Korea, only with minimal contacts. It'll be a win-win solution for both sides. We should never take the bilateral ties for granted. I brush aside the mistaken cliche that countries can or "should" be good friends because of their geographical and cultural proximity. The opposite is more truthful, looking at Israel-Palestine, India-Pakistan, Russia-Ukraine conflicts. From Japan to look eastward to Pacific Ocean, Korea is far away, the most distant country :) Attachments may be a sin, and this is particularly the case for "stalker" Korea who has kept harassing Japan with nitpicks, even though some cases turn out to be self-inflicting.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

When will Japan become a real peer? It is the only G7 w/o nuclear weapons. When will it regain is sovereignty? It does not have it at the moment. Japan NEVER says no to Uncle. When will it?

North Korea at least has it. It still has its sovereignty. It never gave it up as South Korea did. The real trick now is that there will be a unified Korea which is nuclear. Japan has to do the same. Grow up please. The NE Asia "needs" to take its equal seat at the table with the rest of the peers.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Another interesting point about S. Korea is the way in which they're getting closer and chummier with N. Korea & China. It's strange that S. Korea is ready to embrace these 2 communist countries. In the case of China, it's money, money, money, but in the case of N. Korea it's more difficult to put a finger on. If the 2 countries reunite again, does S. Korea really expect Kim Jong Un to retire in Switzerland? And China, look at the problems Hong Kong is having in giving up its old freedoms in exchange for new demands and commands from a new master. Does S. Korea really want to go down that road? I hope not and if they don't care then they've got their heads on backwards.

This is why it's strange that S. Korea is looking towards China and N. Korea instead of improving its relationship with Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

stormcrowToday  01:01 pm JST

Another interesting point about S. Korea is the way in which they're getting closer and chummier with N. Korea & China. It's strange that S. Korea is ready to embrace these 2 communist countries.

that's why they are stupid and China are smart. China kicked every korean company out through protectism.

Samsung is already dead in China, a 1bil+ market. Now they are basically begging to those who took their lunch lol. then again they also loves to bite the hands that feed them.

This day is LONG overdue, seriously, this nation cannot understand good will and friendship, they only understand whips on their back. the tie has had to be cut, thank god for Abe(although I do dislike him for other reasons)

Anyway, hope south korea enjoy being a Chinese subject, like they always have been for last couple thousands years, they better, because the Chinese are hardcore, that's how they got so big

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The opposite is more truthful, looking at Israel-Palestine, India-Pakistan, Russia-Ukraine conflicts. From Japan to look eastward to Pacific Ocean, Korea is far away, the most distant country :) Attachments may be a sin, and this is particularly the case for "stalker" Korea who has kept harassing Japan with nitpicks, even though some cases turn out to be self-inflicting.

Good point. I would add Britain-Ireland conflicts to that list.

What the Japanese don’t get regarding the colonization is that they’ll say, “the Koreans asked us to, they signed.” Don’t bother discussing with these.

What the Koreans don’t get is that the Japanese think those who complain are weak. And if you’re weak, they don’t respect you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good point. I would add Britain-Ireland conflicts to that list.

The British "adventure" in Ireland was hardly self-inflicted by the Irish. Unless I've misunderstood you, in which case, apologies.

The current spat between South Korea and Japan is doomed to repeat itself because one side says it's not settled and the other says it is settled. An impasse has been reached and neither side will budge.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Moon Jae-in should resign along with his economic and foreign policies that asphyxiate peaceful coexistence bringing an end his aversion to present day political reality

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The problem is not just economic as it is an extreme political move by SK with obvious but un announced "backers" that want Japan to become "weak" in the international arena economically and image wise so that any "conflict" that may start in the future can be "blamed" on Japan. And because Japanese and Japan has so far taken the "weak" and "honorable" ways to respond to such irrational threats, they.., including SK is "hyping up" that stake to force Japan to react, hopefully in a manner that SK and its now new allies can "blame" Japan for causing such a conflict as during WWII. The same kind of tactic used to get Japan to bomb PH.

In essense this has become not just an economic war which tries to direct business away from Japan, by calling Japan "unfair" as US is doing to China, but actual military strategy which may become a limited war that avoids Europe and Africa and possibly the Middle East. In other words those that are pushing this is looking to "localize" the war. They do not mention any other country but Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Might want to mention that Korean tourists were dead last in consumption amount per person. Only 78,804 yen. By far the lowest.

Utter nonsense, there are millions of working Japanese that don't spend the above amount in a month.

The hundred of thousands of recently imported labor from vietnam, indonesia don't spend even 40,000yen a month. Why don't you go ahead and belittle their monetary contribution to the japanese economy.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Utter nonsense, there are millions of working Japanese that don't spend the above amount in a month.

We’re discussing about foreign tourists.

This article states,

”South Koreans were the second largest contingent of foreign visitors to Japan last year, just behind visitors from China, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.”

My response,

Might want to mention that Korean tourists were dead last in consumption amount per person. Only 78,804 yen. By far the lowest.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@stormcrow: it's not weird for South Korea trying to get closer to China/North Korea. You already have the main reason: money. Plus, politically, South Korea is a very, very young democracy, basically only since the 90s, and if you read their press, you can't even tell what is right or left. Everything is full of harsh nationalism, to an exten that you don't find even in the Global Times. Also, in South Korea anti-Japanese feelings are way stronger than anti-Chinese feelings. But I would add that also anti-American feelings are rather strong, despite what some people could think. There are already rich societies with totalitarian regimes, like Singapore. SK don't see any real danger for their society to get closer to China, because their society is already very similar to it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"But I would add that also anti-American feelings are rather strong, despite what some people could think."

Boy, it's a shame then that thousands of US & UN troops had to die fighting for S. Korea's independence against the N. Korean & Chinese soldiers back in the 50s. Maybe the people in S. Korea would have preferred living like they do in N. Korea after all.

If the majority of S. Koreans don't like having the U.S. military bases in their country, then it's time to close the bases down.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the majority of S. Koreans don't like having the U.S. military bases in their country, then it's time to close the bases down.

All bases and occupations should be closed down. Let the troops go back to their families or embrace civvy life in South Korea, Japan etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@stormcrow: many people think North Korea economy is bad because of American sanctions, not because of the regime per se. Again, Countries like Singapore and China are showing you can create rich societies also in a totalitarian regime. Also SK economic miracle happened under a totalitarian regime. When China started to boycott South Korean goods and companies because of the THAAD, South Korea economy suffered very much. When he was elected, Moon tried to improve relationships with China immediately, and his policy continues to pander to China rather than to American interests.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@elephant200: I can see your point, about how nice it could be for East Asians being all "together and happy", without any American interference. But the truth could be a bit different, and I am saying this as a European citizen who saw in the past years the EU project falling apart. Which is the problem? The problem is that, sure, it would be great being less pressed by American interests. But the truth is that also inside the EU, that was born to create a more indipendent Europe from the US, you have Countries that start to act to protect their interests hurting the others. There's a reason if we have nationalistic movements inside the EU almost everywhere, and some Countries are against the so called "German-French axis". So, don't think that it's all rainbows and unicorns. In a possible East Asian Union, it's really probable that Chinese interests always would win over the other Countries interests. This is how actually things work. I can only say that my Country, Italy, was way, way richer before the whole EU and Euro revolution in the early 2000.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Germany and her austerity crap killed South European economies, and now for example Greece is basically a German and Chinese colony. Germany wasn't afraid to hurt South Europe because it had found already her new partner and client: the giant Chinese market. This is why now Germany is in recession (ironically, Italy isn't in recession despite the bad shape of her economy), because of her strong link with Chinese economy, that is slowing. Since South Korea loves Germany so much, it could learn from it that betting everything only on the Chinese market, hurting your business relationships with other Countries, isn't always the perfect and winning strategy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sovereignty. Neither Japan, nor South Korea has it! Both traded it for economic treaties with USA. Only North Korea still has it. Among the three, only it has legitimate peer to peer, king to king, eye to eye rank with USA. To those that say SK negotiated away to Japan all its claims. then what of North Korea? What if it will now demand full on reparations with Japan, which can be "unlimited", especially as the "true descendants and heirs" of the Korea prior to annexation. South Koreans are hypocritical too - if it allows its citizens to bring such grievances, they need to look at their own atrocities, including during the Korean War. We have to figure all these things out, there is so much potential in the NE Asia bloc, enough to lever the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can Japan claim to have its sovereignty if it will forever be dependent on the Uncle's defense shield. Japan might still hv its "face", but it has no more dignity. Its time for Japan to become a full on global power. For this, it needs its own nukes. Until then, it is only a paper tiger and ONLY shows its teeth at South Korea. It never has shown that to China, North Korea, nor any others. South Korea is very useful to Japan for that. haha. :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The same thing keeping these politicians engaged in their pissing contest is the same nonsense I'm seeing here in this and other comments sections after articles about the JP-SK spat.

It's fueled by a combination of blind nationalism (either by citizens of one of the countries or foreigners who have a devotion or antipathy towards one of the countries), and the need for most humans to assign blame for any negative situation. It must be one side's fault! Who is to blame???

Neither side in this stupid nonsense is free from blame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

companies if Samsung,LG and Hynix change to alternative non Japanese sources for raw materials or have other non korean 

同様に何故韓国は、台湾やマイクロンの広島工場への販売が増えると考えれないのか不思議でならない。

世界に韓国だけが存在してるわけじゃない。

何より、半導体も新しい世代が作られ始めた段階で韓国に固執する事こそ、無能な経営者と言えるだろう。

韓国と取引して、韓国が反日で売らなくなったから、中国に生産工場を移して、大成功した経験の俺が言う。

Similarly, it is no wonder why South Korea cannot expect sales from Taiwan and Micron's Hiroshima factories to increase.

Not only Korea exists in the world.

Above all, sticking to Korea at the stage when a new generation of semiconductors has begun to be created can be said to be an incompetent manager.

I said that I had a very successful experience of dealing with South Korea and moving to a factory in China because South Korea stopped selling in anti-Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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