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South Koreans rally against Japan's economic retaliation

Police officers stand guard in front of a building housing the Japanese embassy in Seoul on August 2, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

Thousands of South Koreans converged on the streets outside the Japanese embassy in the capital Seoul on Saturday evening.

Leaders of newly formed civic groups representing various sectors of Korean society came to the stage to condemn Japan’s suspension Friday of South Korea from Tokyo’s white list of preferred trading partners a move South Korea matched. The issue is rooted in historical conflict. 

Japan colonized South Korea from 1910-1945. Recent court decisions have upheld claims for compensation for forced South Korean laborers under Japanese colonial corporations. Tokyo’s trade measures are viewed as reprisals.

The Japanese government argues that Tokyo has already apologized and compensated South Korea with a 1965 agreement normalizing relations.

However, many South Koreans do not recognize that deal, and today a ban on all things Japanese is gaining force. 

The show of support for South Korea and opposition to Japan in this trade war is not confined to public demonstrations.

On Friday South Korea’s National assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Tokyo’s so-called economic retaliation, and earmarked some 250 million dollars to fund countermeasures.





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