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S. Korea's food exports to Japan dive in 2012

All Headlines 12:03 April 28, 2013

SEOUL, April 28 -- Amid chilly South Korea-Japan relations, the South's food exports to Japan took a dive last year, the national agricultural product agency said Sunday.

South Korea exported US$32 million worth of makgeolli, Korea's traditional fermented rice wine, to Japan last year, 33.9 percent less than the amount shipped to the country in 2011, according to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation.

Exports of South Korea ramyeon, or instant noodles, reached $43 million last year, down 18.6 percent from a year earlier while kimchi exports also fell 2.6 percent to $8.4 million, according to the agency.

The decline came as Japanese importers reduced buying Korean food amid the two countries' strained relations.

In August last year, then South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made the first visit by a South Korean president to the Dokdo rocky outcroppings, which lie about halfway between the two countries. Japan's claims to the South Korean islands have been a frequent source of tensions between the countries.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit two months later to the Yasukuni war shrine further frayed the relations.


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