BUNDANG, South Korea (AP) — A widespread anti-Japanese boycott is gaining ground in South Korea since Tokyo tightened its exports of materials used to manufacture semiconductors and display screens, key export items for South Korea.
The boycott could worsen as Japan is expected to expand its trade curbs to other items as early as Friday by removing South Korea from a list of countries granted preferential trade status. In the meantime, South Koreans spoke of canceling travel to Japan while stores removed Japanese beer from their shelves.
South Korea accuses Japan of retaliating over local court rulings that ordered two Japanese companies to pay compensation to former Korean employees for forced labor during Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. Japan has denied that, saying its action was taken out of national security concerns.