Feelings are running high in South Korea, where a boyoctt of Japanese goods and services is gathering pace. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je) South Korean firms are now scrambling to find alternative suppliers beyond Japan, while Japan’s tourism industry is counting the cost of plunging visitor numbers from South Korea. The dispute stems from of a long-running disagreement over Japanese use of forced labour in South Korea during World War II. A series of South Korean court rulings have demanded Japanese companies compensate victims, but Tokyo says the issue was settled by a reparations package agreed decades ago. As ties worsened, Japan imposed restrictions on the export of chemicals key to the South Korean chip and phone industries, and this week removed Seoul from a favoured trading partner “white list”. The moves have forced South Korean electronics giants like Samsung, LG and SK Hynics to hunt for suppliers elsewhere in the hope of reducing their dependence on Japanese manufacturers. In early August, the South Korean government promised the sector a major injection of funds – around US$37 billion – to help achieve a long-term goal of self-sufficiency for 100 components for the country’s industry. In the meantime however, South Korea’s “overall business… Read full this story
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