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Imports of Japanese beer in freefall on boycott

Retail/Tourism 09:03 November 29, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean imports of Japanese beer tumbled more than 99 percent on-year in the past two months due to a boycott of Japanese products amid a bilateral trade row, data showed Friday.

South Korea brought in Japanese beer worth US$38,000 in October, down 99.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea International Trade Association.

Imports of Japanese beer were valued at a mere $6,000 in September, 99.9 percent lower than a year earlier.

During the July-October period, imports of Japanese beer stood at $4.61 million, down 84 percent from $28.68 million a year ago.

Imports of Japanese beer in freefall on boycott - 1

Given the downtrend, imports of Japanese beer are strongly tipped to shrink this year for the first time in 14 years after hitting a record high of $78.3 million last year.

Imports of refined rice wine from Japan also took a hit from anti-Japan sentiment here, with their value plunging 73.6 percent on-year to $487,000 in October.

The plunge in imports of Japanese beer and rice wine came as many South Koreans joined the "No Japan" boycott out of anger at Tokyo's July curbs on exports to Seoul of three materials key the production of chips and flexible displays.

Japan later dropped South Korea from its list of favored trading partners in retaliation against last year's South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Tokyo claims that all compensation was made when the two neighboring countries signed an agreement to normalize their diplomatic ties in 1965.
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