Eight out of 10 South Koreans reluctant to buy Japanese products

29, Jul. 2019

This image which reads
This image which reads "안 사요" (I won't buy it in Korean) is widely used by South Korean online users who participate in the boycott of Japanese products. [Online Community Clien]

SEOUL, AJU - Eight out of 10 South Koreans showed reluctance to buy Japanese products as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moves to expand trade restrictions. A boycott campaign has gained force in South Korea due to Tokyo's unyielding position that amplified anti-Japanese sentiment.

In a survey of 1006 adults, Gallup Korea found that 80 percent were reluctant to buy Japanese products while 27 percent answered the other way round. “This can be said to include not only active participants in a boycott campaign but also passive participants who are reluctant to buy them in consideration of surrounding attention,” the pollster said.

The survey found that some 50 percent positively assessed the Seoul government's handling of the row and 36 percent gave a negative answer.

Anti-Japanese sentiment grew after Japan restricted exports of crucial chemicals used for the production of microchips and displays. Until before Abe took office in December 2012, the ratio of South Koreans with a good feeling had stayed above 20 percent, rising to 41 percent in 2011 when Japan was hit by a powerful earthquake.