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Korean civic group urges boycott of Japanese products
Publication Date : 26-02-2013
A major civic group dedicated to protecting mom-and-pop stores with some 6 million members and dozens of other civic groups here vowed on Monday to boycott all Japanese-made products in protest of Tokyo’s latest territorial claims to Dokdo.
The groups said they would boycott Japanese goods such as Mild Seven cigarettes, Asahi beer, Nikon cameras, Uniqlo clothes, Sony electronics, Toyota, Lexus and Honda cars, starting March 1.
There have been anti-Japan boycotts led by civic groups in the past, but this is the largest in history.
Members of the boycotting groups are people who sell Japanese products in their restaurants, bars, supermarkets and other retail outlets, and they are estimated to handle about 80 per cent of the Japanese goods traded in Korea.
They are set to put boycott stickers on all of their stores from this week and encourage their customers to join the campaign.
These groups last year succeeded in lowering the credit card commission rates for shopkeepers through boycott campaigns against Samsung Card and Shinhan Card. They also made large discount store chains close on holidays.
“Six million self-employed people will do whatever we can to protect Dokdo,” said Oh Ho-seok, co-representative of the self-employed group.
“We decided to boycott Japanese products starting on the March 1 Independence Movement Day until Tokyo regrets its past wrongdoings and put an end to its wrongful claims on Dokdo.”
Regarding concerns that the campaign might stir trade conflict between Korea and Japan, Oh said it won’t be a problem since it is a voluntary action by individuals, and not the Korean government.