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Self-employed unite to boycott Japanese-made goods

2013/03/03 | 144 views | Permalink | Source

The self-employed have started a campaign to boycott Japanese products in protest over Japans claim to Korea`s easternmost islets of Dokdo.

More than 200 self-employed members of more than 60 organizations, including a consumer coalition to revive village markets and the Eatery and Food Association, held a news conference and performance to announce a boycott of Japanese goods at Seoul`s Tapgol Park at 2 p.m. Friday.

They urged a stop to the sale of Japanese products to more than six million members of their organizations who operate restaurants, bars and supermarkets across the nation. In a statement, they also said, We will continue a campaign to boycott Japanese products until Japan stops its acts of aggression to take over Dokdo, such as the commemorative ceremony to mark Takeshima (the Japanese name for Dokdo) Day, and atone for its past history".

The campaign will start with Japanese food, liquor and tobacco from Monday next week, when the three-day weekend of the March 1 Independence Movement Day ends. The organizers will produce banners and stickers urging no purchases of Japanese products and distribute them to the self-employed nationwide. On March 15, they will hold a protest with more than 1,000 participants in Haeundae, Busan to denounce establishments that sell Japanese products.

Participants at Fridays event looked serious. A 60-year-old woman who runs a living goods store in Bangbae-dong, Seoul said, Buying products from Japanese companies that support the Takeshima Day event is effectively no different from supporting the event itself". Jang In-seok, 50, owner of an outdoor advertising sign store in Seouls Seodaemun district, brought his third-grade son to the event. "I`m here to express my objection to Japans aggression through action rather than emotionally responding to it, Jang said.

Japanese media outlets including NHK, Asahi TV and TV Tokyo flocked to cover the event. A reporter from a Japanese daily doubted the effect of the campaign, saying, While I`ve been in Korea, I`ve seen campaigns to boycott products but such events always ended up as one-time episodes.

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