Seoul (dpa) - In the midst of the escalating trade dispute between Tokyo and Seoul, more and more South Koreans participate in the boycott of Japanese products.

In addition, according to the Korea Herald newspaper Monday night, nearly 15,000 people gathered in Seoul for a candlelit vigil to protest the actions of the Japanese government that had removed South Korea from its list of preferred trading partners.

Thus, the sole sales of the Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo since the second week of July fell by 40 percent, reports the "Korea Herald". Some of South Korea's major retailers are stripping Japanese products of their discount offers. Signs in supermarkets called for a boycott of Japanese goods.

In addition, the two largest Korean airlines announced their plans to reduce their air traffic to Japan due to falling demand. Asiana Airlines plans to switch to smaller aircraft from September on routes from Seoul to Fukuoka, Okinawa and Osaka. Korean Air announced that from September, the flight connection between Busan and Sapporo will be discontinued.

On Friday, the Tokyo government decided to remove South Korea from the "white list" of countries that enjoy preferential treatment in trade and products that can be used for military purposes. Previously, Japan imposed stricter export controls on chip production materials.

South Korea called Japan's actions politically motivated. The background is a dispute over the compensation of Korean forced laborers during Japan's colonial rule (1910-1945). The Supreme Court in South Korea last year ordered Nippon Steel and heavy industry group Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to pay compensation to former forced laborers in separate cases.

Korea Herald