South Koreans boycott Japanese brands and cancel trips as diplomatic row intensifies

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2019   •   1797

Angry South Korean consumers are taking action after Tokyo imposed curbs on exports to South Korea, promoting a widespread boycott of Japanese products and services, from beer to clothes and travel.

“We decided to cancel (the trip to Japan) because it went against our beliefs. I’m actually feeling relieved,” said Lee Sang-won, a 29-year-old designer, who canceled his Japan trip for a 130,000 won ($110.15) fee.

Screenshots of Japan trip cancellations are trending on social media. Lee and his friends, who have changed their holiday destination to Taiwan, ‘proudly’ presented their canceled ticket to Japan on his social media account.

“I believe it is very significant for South Korean citizens to show them (the Japanese government) their thoughts and actions. These boycotts are not about how much economic damage we can inflict, but about how we can raise their awareness,” said Lee, scheduling his trip to Taiwan with his friend.

Diplomatic tensions have been simmering again since a South Korean court last year ordered Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans who were forced to work during the war. Then on July 4, Japan restricted exports of high-tech materials to South Korea, denying the move was related to the compensation issue. Tokyo cited “inadequate management” of sensitive exports, with Japanese media reporting some items ended up in North Korea. Seoul has denied that.

Meanwhile, some local supermarkets pulled Japanese beers off the shelves, which was their way of taking a stance against Japan as a quickly worsening political and economic dispute between the two East Asian neighbors rekindles lingering animosity since Japan’s World War Two occupation of Korea.

“Of course we should (boycott Japanese products). There are so many good, tasty products, domestic and overseas alike, so why bother (consuming Japanese products) when we have this problem with Japan?” said a 55-year-old South Korean customer at a local market where he can’t find Japanese beers, said he has plenty of other options which can replace Japanese products.

Economists say the tech export curbs could shave 0.4% off South Korea’s gross domestic product this year. The boycott – if it proves to be more than just a brief burst of nationalistic fervor – could marginally add to that, unless consumers spend on something else.

“We are pleased to see this has turned consumers’ favor towards our pens,” said Park Seol, assistant manager at stationery maker Monami, whose online sales have risen five-fold since the curbs.

Japan’s Fast Retailing fashion brand Uniqlo, which sells clothes worth around 140 billion yen – 6.6% of its revenue – in 186 Korean stores, is also feeling the anger as its chief financial officer said last week there was a certain impact on sales. (REUTERS)

(Production: Daewoung Kim & Heejung Jung)

Drone footage captures ash-covered marine life in Balayan Bay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 29, 2020

UNTV’s underwater drone captured the sorry state of Balayan Bay’s marine life which has been covered in a blanket of volcanic ash from Taal Volcano’s eruption.

Joey Devilla, one of the fishermen in San Luis, said they were finding it difficult to catch fish since the eruption of the Taal volcano. He said there were large amounts of ashfall underwater of Balayan Bay.

“Putik ang ilalim, talaga hong makikita niyo na medyo madilim tsaka wala kayong makikitang maliit na isda (The underwater is murky, you can abrely see anything below and you cannot see any small fishes),” he said.

“Hindi na po nakakahuli ng dulong (silver fish) simula noong pumatak ang maraming ashfall dito sa amin. Kaya po medyo mahirap ngayon ang buhay dahil ito lang ang pinagkakakitaan namin dito sa San Luis (I can no longer catch any silver fish since the ashfall. Life has been quite difficult here [fishing] has been one of our main livelihood here in San Luis),” he added.

UNTV’s drone journalism, which includes air and underwater drone, was spearheaded by Kuya Daniel Razon to provide more detailed information on news reports.

The UNTV drone journalism has already covered several new reports including the Manila Bay Rehabilitation, Star City fire and more.—AAC

Japan to send charter flight to Wuhan to bring citizens home as virus spreads

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Japan’s government will send a chartered flight to Wuhan, the epicenter of a virus outbreak in China, on Tuesday (January 28) night to evacuate its nationals wishing to return home.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters the flight can carry around 200 passengers, but added about 650 Japanese citizens are hoping to come back to Japan.

Motegi said the government is also making arrangements for additional flights that will leave for Wuhan as early as Wednesday (January 29).

The Japanese government will also send masks, protective gear, and other relief supplies to support Chinese and Japanese people living in Wuhan. (Reuters)

(Production: Akiko Okamoto)

Filipino fans pay tribute to Kobe Bryant with mural of him with his daughter

UNTV News   •   January 28, 2020

Filipino fans painted a giant mural of late basketball star Kobe Bryant together with his daughter Gianna inside a neighborhood basketball court in Taguig City on Tuesday (January 28) as a tribute to the late sportsman.

Bryant and his daughter were among the nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash in the Santa Monica foothills near Calabasas, California, United States on Sunday (January 26).

Fans painted the picture to pay tribute to Bryant, both as an athlete and as a father.

They started painting the mural on Monday and completed it overnight.

Basketball is one of the Philippines’ most popular sports, with makeshift courts popping up appearing in many neighborhoods and children frequently seen playing on the streets.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nicknamed the “Black Mamba”, he was named in the NBA all-star team 18 times and won five NBA championships.

(Production: Adrian Portugal, Peter Blaza)

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