According to an article published in Korea Times (January 16, 2012), about 64% of Koreans surveyed were worried about possible foreigner demonstrations and riots. What will bring on these riots?
As the main reasons for conflict between Koreans and foreign nationals, most respondents cited differences in language, culture and skin color.
And while I think the differences in culture and language do legitimately contribute to conflict, the color of skin as a cause is just plain wrong. I do, however, think these other points are perhaps more telling and something that many Americans – as well as residents of certain European countries – can relate to:
In the survey, one out of every two respondents said Koreans will have difficulty in getting jobs due to the increasing number of foreigners here. Some 37 percent also believe their inflow into the job market will result in Korean wages falling.
Such concerns are more prevalent among the elderly. Over 65 percent of respondents aged over 65 think the inflow of foreigners will deprive Koreans of jobs.
About 37 percent of respondents said the increasing number will result in a decrease in welfare benefits for Koreans.
Some 36 percent also said they will cause housing problems to Koreans and 27.7 percent said they will have a negative impact on the nation’s economic growth.
Actually, this is pretty much what we read a little over three years ago when Mr. Marmot blogged about it here -which also gave us Mr. Marmot’s view on the situation – have his views changed? We have also seen some legitimate concern involving foreign gangs - Mr. Marmot posted here a little over two years ago.