Grocers threaten boycott, but will Japanese beer sales suffer?

This will teach the Japanese to keep their grubby little island-thieving hands off Dokdo:

South Korean grocers and corner shop owners have issued an ultimatum to Japan: end your claim to a disputed set of islands in the East Sea or face a national boycott of your products.

The boycott, which is expected to target brands such as Mild Seven cigarettes and Asahi beer, is the first sign that the dispute over the South Korean-controlled islands, known in Korea as the Dokdo but in Japan as Takeshima, could hit economic ties between the two neighbours.

The association of small merchants, which has a membership of about 4m corner shop owners, strongly condemned Japan’s new government for holding events last Friday to commemorate “Takeshima Day”, which marks the day in 1905 that Japan incorporated some barren islets located between the two countries into its territory.

“It is an international provocation, which we can no longer tolerate,” the Save Local Stores Alliance said in a joint statement with some civic groups. “We will continue this boycott of all Japanese products until Japan repents its past wrongdoing and stops its sovereignty claims to Dokdo.”

Hey, whatever gets people to come to corner stores, I guess.

The real question on everybody’s mind—well, on the Seoul Gyeongje‘s mind—is whether the boycott will hurt sales of Japanese beer. You see, Japanese beer sales have been brisk (and local beer sales slagging, at least in terms of sales percentage) thanks to the weak yen and aggressive marketing. Sales have been particularly good at major supermarkets and convenience store chains. Same think the boycott will have a negative effect on Japanese beer sales, but others seem to believe it won’t have much of an impact at all as Japanese beer has quite a few fans.

  • Hamilton

    So….the group of small merchants so threatened by big department stores that they need to have them shut down once a week or they can’t survive is planning on not carrying products their customers want?
    Sparkling plan you have there guys, I guess I’ll be headed to e-mart for my Asahi beer fix.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Right, because those who deserve a place in the moral high-ground are certainly the ones who profit from the sales of carcinogens.

  • bumfromkorea

    Also, quite a few fans of Japanese beer as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • keyinjpop

    Nothing will get in between me and my beer.

  • ZenKimchi


  • ZenKimchi

    Mostly because nothing WANTS to get in between me an my beer… sigh…

  • Sperwer

    Dokdo – another self-licking ice cream cone of Korea’s culture of defeat/resentiment distorted nationalist pathology

  • provIdence

    So, Japan and Korea will be friends again when the boycott is over.

  • Bobby McGill

    Dokdo Beer! Coming soon to a grocer near you! With product placement shots courtesy of the Hallyu Industrial Complex.

  • felddog13

    It’s a shame that poor, innocent beer has to suffer on account of this ugly dispute.

  • Wedge1

    The real story here is that there are 4 million corner store owners. Holy inefficient retail sector, Batman!

  • Wedge1

    That was my initial conclusion: This will hurt more than help the mom and pops.

  • Sigmund

    Korean beer is literally shit. Let me explain. I have IBS. One bottle and I’m fkt for a week. Even the cheapest of imports at the supermarket, even cheaper than the local brews, don’t have such an affect on me. Hell, neither does magkeolli, and that’s saying a lot.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Didn’t they (corner shop owners) to pull all Nonshim instant ramen noodles off their shelves? What happened with that?

    It’s inconsequential, this sort of thing, and less about Tokdo and more about Abe’s yen war he’s waging on the others.

    I just might watch something called “Made in Japan”.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Here it is. Last year’s news.Nongshim’s Shin ramyun, White soup ramyun.

  • Jakgani

    So those group of small merchants will lose out on customers. I will still go to Lotte or CuV (family mart) if I want Asahi – since as they are Japanese owned – they will still be selling Japanese beer. Korean beer truly sucks.

  • que337

    “Japanese beer sales have been brisk […] thanks to the weak yen and aggressive marketing.”

    Okay, that could help Japan’s decimated economy, hopefully, a lot. The cheap yen policy is a double-edged sword. Abenomics was welcomed by the record-high trade deficit due to more expensive energy import.

  • pipokun

    those that boycott would only hurt themselves. HITE…OB…are you F’n kiddin me with that excuse for beer!???

  • Adams-awry

    Slagging. Ha ha.

  • platethief

    Excellent idea. From now on I’ll only buy OB Gold from my local Family Mart.

    That’ll show ’em!

  • pipokun

    HAHA wow gross.

  • Jakganithecunt5929

    die of aids fuckwit

  • Sperwerthefuckface5298589

    would happily cut your windpipe in two

  • que337

    The hikikomori guy seems not “too sleepy.” He might have calculated the death threat could help Japan earn more sympathy while making Korea look bad. I saw the similar death threat comments at the Japan Probe.

  • wangkon936

    True. It’s a concession to the masses by the chaebol. They don’t give a lot of concessions, and the government has to twist their arm a bit to have them offer any, but it’s a concession nonetheless.

  • wangkon936

    Renamed from French Beer?

  • Sperwertheshithead558

    hope you meet a slow and pain filled demise

  • ChuckRamone

    Korean beer sucks but Japanese beers are all overhyped lagers. Asians just don’t make that great of beer, period.

  • pipokun

    overhyped? no one is really hyping up japanese beer like that. they do them good, esp smaller breweries.

  • ChuckRamone

    I agree with good, but not great. Scotch, on the other hand, the Japanese have really made a reputation for themselves with that.

  • Sperwershithead6666

    cupid stunt

  • ChuckRamone

    I voted this down for the crappy metaphor, not the opinion contained therein.

  • Andrew

    Most of these little stores probably are probably barely profitable, and wouldn’t be replaced by Chaebol – who have business sense.

    Chaebol’s have good businesses. I remember the crappy little bakeries before Paris B., and the chaebols showed them how. Same with Outback.

  • wangkon936

    Yes, yes, I know that, you know that, but people like to hold on to those things, even if they are inefficient, just like those little crappy bakeries.

  • wangkon936

    Might be short term. Always a lag with exports vs. imports. It takes a little time for consumers in other countries to react to the new lower prices.

  • que337

    There is an urban legend that Japanese who drink Magkeolli have ‘ใ‚‚ใฃใ“ใ‚Š'(Motkori: erection) in their mind. It is a Japanese word that also sound similar with ๋ชฉ๊ฑธ์ด(necklace) in Korean language. Just for fun.

  • pipokun

    what urban legend is this?…

    dunno any japanese or korean folk that refer to anything like this. only ones that i can think of that would even think of anything like this is zainichi.

  • que337

    I have no intention to argue with you. Chill out, dude.

  • pipokun

    HAH, was a simple question sir.

  • stereo

    Starting a war is easy. Ending one is not easy. The Takeshima/Dog do dispute is more than 60 years old and will not end in a decade or two. Once they start boycotting, they will not be able to end it.

  • provIdence

    It’s probably more healthy for most of us here to sleep before midnight Japan Standard Time.

  • frogmouth

    I don’t think this will affect mom and pop shops at all. E-mart etc are a totally different market share entirely. These grocers could sell other import brands from around the world. Japanese beer? Meh Japanese imports can be replaced by other international beers.

    I think this boycott is a very effective way for Koreans to convey their dissatisfaction with the Japanese Government’s Policy toward the Dokdo (Takeshima) Island dispute. Japan’s MOFA hasn’t responded to the Korean government so why not hit the Japanese in the pocketbooks? Japan’s dispute with China cost them huge bucks in boycotts.

    It’s time for Japan to wake up. They have to realize that the political, military and economic situation has changed in Northeast Asia.

  • que337

    As a matter of fact, Japanese colonial textbook described Dokdo as Korean territory:

  • will.i.aint

    I remember the crappy little bakeries before Paris B

    I buy my bread at Paris Baguette, but I much prefer the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall bakery for a lot of other pastries — especially cream bbang. Tastes great and they sell it at a fraction of the price Paris Baguette charges.

  • cm

    They have other imported choices, other than Japanese. South Korea has a FTA agreement with US, Chile, EU, etc. Other imported beer can easily take up the place of Japanese beers.

  • wangkon936

    I will admit though, Japanese beers go better with Korean food. But Coors lite goes best with it. It is the best Hite substitute.

  • pipokun

    i agree about korean food + japanese beer. best combo any day.

  • Sperwerfoad6595

    ไฝ ไป–ๅฆˆ็š„

  • stereo

    I can at least say that the book in the photo is not a school textbook in pre-war Japan. School textbooks were published by the Ministry of Education.
    The cover of the book reads;
    Historical Maps of Japan
    Edited by Shiba Katsumori
    ๆ ชๅผไผš็คพๆ˜Žๆฒปๆ›ธ้™ข
    Meiji Shoin Co. Ltd.
    The title does not say textbook, either.
    >The Japanese textbook is the latest in a string of historical materials denying Tokyoโ€˜s sovereignty claims over the rocky outcroppings in the sea between the two countries.

    I think the article is the latest of the series of articles to fool its own people.

  • RElgin

    Events have changed. There are now quite a few local bakeries that excel since their owners studied their craft in Europe and brought that skill back with them. I have just such one baker in my neighbourhood and there is no chaebol baker that can touch them and their business is flourishing due to their talents.

  • RElgin

    Yeah, really.

    The history of that “freedom fries” nonsense is interesting on wikipedia too.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    They’re almost all a second source of income. But yeah, one for every twelve people? Even one for every twenty-four if you include both mum and pop in the group seems impossible, even for Korea.

  • frogmouth

    I don’t think those maps mean much either.
    However, the recently uncovered Japanese documents showing Dokdo seals as an export from Korea’s Uldo County really were a stake in the heart for Japan’s Takeshima claim.

  • stereo

    It is not new, either. The “textbook” that Kim Moon-gil, an honorary Japanese language professor of Busan University of Foreign Studies “discovered” was actually discovered years ago by Professor Sin Yong-Ha of Seoul University, and discussed in his book which was translated into Japanese and published in Japan in June 1997, with a title “Shitekikaimei Dokdo/Takeshima” ISBN 978-4-88170-604-6.

  • stereo

    Are you talking about this?
    >For example, Japanese ships which have operated around Ulleungdo collected mainly fisheries such as abalone and agar as per the Agreement between Joseon- Japan forged at the end of the 19th century. However, there are records which prove that the Japanese went as far as Dokdo in search of abalone when the catch was low. There are Japanese records which state that otaridae hindered the fishermenโ€™s activities when they were collecting abalone. The Japanese sent the abalone to Ulleungdo where they were processed and exported to Japan. The fact that Ulleungdo administrative chief levied export tax upon these fishermen can be confirmed through the official records of Japanese Pusan Consulate. These are proofs strongly substantiating the fact that Korea in the latter part of the 19th century ruled over Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Tax collection is a distinct form of exercising oneโ€™s sovereignty over its territory.

    There is no dispute that Ulleungdo belongs to Korea. What the document says is that Korea levied tax on goods exported from Ulleungdo. Why can it be interpreted to be a proof Dogdo belongs to Korea? Some of the abalone were collected in Takeshima, then exported to Ulleungdo, processed, and then exported again to Japan after paying tax. I do not see anything that implies Dogdo belongs to Korea.

  • frogmouth

    Here’s what it means.

    It was not just abalone, it was seals as well that were levied on products from harvested on Dokdo.

    The Korean Governor of Uldo (Ulleungdo) drafted laws in 1902 that stipulated products from Uldo County had to be taxed. If Dokdo were not part of Uldo there would be no need for the Japanese to register them and pay taxes on these products. Surely they would have told the Governor to get lost when he tried to hit them up for this money.

    This explains why Japanese fishing records such as the Black Dragon Fishing manual listed Dokdo under Gangwan Province of Chosun in both the 1901 and 1903 editions.

    It also clarifies why Japanese Business and Investments Guidebooks also listed Dokdo under Gangwan Province of Chosun (Korea)

    It also shows why Nakai Yozaburo first approached the Koreans about Dokdo when he desired to monopolize the seal harvesting on Dokdo (Takeshima)

    From Japan’s trespassing fishermen of Shimane Prefecture, expansionist “entrepreneurs” and now even their Foreign Affairs office, these people all knew Dokdo was Korean

    That said, we also know from these documents that Koreans had an economic stake in Dokdo before the Japanese incorporated the rocks. Revenues from the Koreans who worked alongside Japanese seal hunters and taxes levied on exports are proof positive Japan’s terra nullius claim is a sham.

  • stereo

    Hardly a proof. The Japanese ships paid tax to Korea because they visited Ulleungdo. Do you see? If a Japanese ship calls on Busan on the way to China, Korean governemnt has the right to levy tax on the goods in the ship. That does not mean the place where the goods were produced belongs to Korea.

  • hardyandtiny

    Lotte is a Korean company.

  • frogmouth

    Hardly proof… says you. I’m not out to satisfy your level of “proof” Stereo You don’t set the level of the bar.

    The Japanese Foreign Affairs showed Japanese were levied taxes on seal products harvested from Korea’s Ulleungdo. These records also specifically mentioned Dokdo (Rianco) as well as being 25 ri from Ulleungdo.

    I’m putting together all related data from all sources to understand why Japanese consistently recorded Dokdo as appended to Korea’s Ulleungdo and part of Gangwan Province. With each new document it becomes clear. Those Japanese who knew situation on Dokdo (Takeshima) well, thought the island was Korean territory.

    As I said (and you conveniently ignored) These records show Korea had an economic stake in Dokdo. They taxed products and received revenue from the resources harvested on Dokdo. Also as I said, Ulleungdo residents were also involved in the harvest of seals on Dokdo. Again another form of Korean economic acitivity on Dokdo (Takeshima) No Terra Nullius.

    These records both support Korea’s just title to Dokdo as prove Japan’s claim as false.

  • stereo

    >I’m putting together all related data from all sources to understand why Japanese consistently recorded Dokdo as appended to Korea’s Ulleungdo and part of Gangwan Province.
    Ha. Are you a daydreamer? The document we are talking about does not record Dokdo belongs to Ulleungdo.

  • frogmouth

    Ha! yourself Stereo. Read again what I’ve posted instead of creating your own straw man argument.

    The Report from Japan’s Consul in Busan described the situation on Korea’s Ulleungdo. It listed both imports and exports among other things. It’s worthy to note, Japan’s Consul in Busan listed the seal hunters on Dokdo as “Ulleungdo Residents” it does not differentiate between Korean or Japanese.

    It’s just a piece of the puzzle in unravelling the true relationship between Korea/Japan and Dokdo (Takeshima) before Japan’s military annexed the rocks in 1905.

    The points you can’t refute are.

    First, all levels of Japanese who were involved in Liancourt Rocks recorded the islands as part of Gangwan Province, Korea. This included illegal fishermen, “Investors” and Government Officials in Korea.

    Second, Koreans had an economic involvement in Dokdo (Takeshima) before Japan seized the islands in 1905.

    Both my points above prove Japan had no justification to unilaterally declare the islands as “ownerless” or “no man’s” land in 1905. Especially when you consider the fact Liancourt Rocks cannot sustain human life for an extended period of time.

  • stereo

    >First, all levels of Japanese who were involved in Liancourt Rocks recorded the islands as part of Gangwan Province, Korea.
    Haven’t I clearly pointed out that you are daydreaming on this point? What record?

  • palladin9479

    That’s because PB drove the shitty ones out of business. Only the good small business’s survived due to word of mouth advertising. Many things are like that in SK, the best places will be packed with customers without any advertising at all.

  • palladin9479

    Well Hite’s Dry Finish seems to be a decent enough beer. Well compared to Korean beer in general which isn’t exactly saying much. Can’t compete to any decent US beer and isn’t even in the same league as many of the European brands. Still it’s useful as a beverage while eating outside with friends, mix’s will with Soju.

  • pipokun

    i agree in general about american vs euro. but can’t front on the independent small breweries in the US.

  • frogmouth

    Stereo I listed some of the records three days ago above. In my first post. Please do your own homework.

    Japanese Black Dragon Fishing Guide 1901~1903

    Those Japanese who were actually involved in Korea, Ulleungdo and Dokdo listed Rianco (Dokdo-Takeshima) under Gangwan Province Korea.