A trade war rages between the two countries following the decision of the Seoul Supreme Court to sentence Japanese companies for forced labor during the war. The two countries are engulfed in an escalation of economic reprisals that fuel the anger on both sides of the Sea of Japan.
With our correspondent in Seoul , Frédéric Ojardias
The Koreans are furious about the Japanese economic retaliation and have launched a massive boycott movement. Demonstrations are proliferating in Seoul, where nationalist militants are publicly destroying clothing and beer imported from Japan.
Seven airlines had to reduce their flights to the archipelago, due to the drop in the number of travelers. The Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo acknowledged that its sales had dropped. In the city of Pusan, a restaurant refuses to serve Japanese customers.
This anger sometimes looks like a witch hunt: a politician was criticized for drinking sake at a Japanese restaurant. And those accused of pro-Japanese sympathies are described by "collabos" politicians, an insult that refers to the Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese colonial occupier at the beginning of the last century.
►Also read: Japan: a historic dispute comes to the fore in trade with Seoul
The conflict with Japan takes a radical turn. This does not facilitate the search for a diplomatic solution to a trade war that jeopardizes the economy of both countries.
The South Korean government withdrew Japan this morning from its "white list" of privileged trading partners, a move that in practice will complicate Korean exports to Japan's neighbor. This measure had already been taken by the Japanese State against South Korea at the beginning of August.