On July 4th, the Japanese government excluded Korea from its export licensing list for materials that are essential to manufacturing. It’s clear that the 4.7 retaliation is a matter of belittling Korea. Trying to shake up a country’s economy in the meager name of security isn’t hard to see as another invasion. Because the export regulation seems to appear from historical problems, Koreans are boycotting Japanese products. However, there are some extreme boycotts that fading its meaning. Long-term, refined approaches are needed, not ones that tarnish the true sense of the boycott.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
Actually, this is not the first boycott against Japan. When issues about Japanese history textbook distortion issues and Takeshima Day problems arose, the claim ‘Don’t buy Japanese products’ became a popular rallying cry across Korea. But boycotts over the past 25 years have had no success. Some criticize that it is because of Koreans’ unique shortness of temper. However, the fundamental reason why boycotts continue to fail in Korea is that people forget their true purpose of doing it. Since people don’t know exactly why they boycott and don’t know what they want to achieve through it, they distort it, and the boycott dies as easily as it burns.
Media says the present boycott has continued much longer than the previous one. However, some of these reports are extremely biased and distort intentions. Actually, many reports treating about violent acts of boycotts were mostly fake. Nonetheless, they show how much animosity toward Japan is spreading among the people. All of these current situations can be attributed to shallow reasons such as ‘tell Japan how powerful Korea is’ or ‘teach Japan a lesson.’ The real reason why the present boycott has lasted longer than before is because the issue of export regulation itself is large, so if it were to boycott for such same false reasons, it would be as easy to forget as before.
As a mature citizen, anyone who is torn about how to boycott, and want to show the criticism, think about what action is the most ‘refined’ way. The boycott is a means to call for lifting export restrictions, not to generate a hostile relationship. Only then can the boycott accurately convey to Japan what Korea claims. The boycott should proceed with fundamental pressure, not with sudden or extreme acts of nationalism. Extreme boycotts are likely only to create unconditional antipathy toward Japan and quickly cool down. Korea should make its point clear and not be so radical and rustic as to forget its basic purpose. It should not be forgotten that only the most sophisticated methods provide a driving force to survive and sustain it.
The Japanese boycott is not an anti-Japanese movement. The radical anti-Japanese movement distorts the boycott, labeling it justified and will most likely lead to insults and hatred of individuals. With the purpose and value of the boycott undermined, the unconditional hatred for Japan should not be the basis of the boycott. To respond to Japan’s inappropriate actions in a long-term and correct manner, it must be carried out in a healthy and refined manner with a mature sense of citizenship.