“Do not go, do not buy.” Last July, as Japan notified export restrictions to Korean Government unilaterally, and with the continued Japanese military sexual slavery problems, the “Boycott Japan” has begun in Korea. Many organizations, including civic groups and college students, supported the boycott and expressed unfairness over Japan’s unilateral decision. Many individuals also expressed their antipathy toward Japan, saying, “We could not participate in the independence movement, but we participate in the boycott.” It is ideal and wonderful to voluntarily participate in the movement to solve the country’s unjust history and present problems and not to repeat these problems in the future. However, there was a small controversy in the boycott.
Some people violated others’ personal freedom and forced boycott as if it were an obvious answer. In consumption where one’s free choice matters, one should become aware of the eyes of the others when shopping products made in Japan. There even were cases of scribbling and destroying Japanese cars that would have been purchased before the boycott began. Of course, such serious problems have occurred little, but many have blamed those who consumed Japanese products and reacted extremely sensitively to things related to Japan, saying, “In this situation?”
Recently, however, the boycott has disappeared nearly and consuming certain Japanese products seems to have become a trend. Representative examples are Nintendo Switch, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game that many people used to play when they were young came out with the latest version, and it was so popular that people bought it in line and it was sold out in Korea. And these consoles and games are made in Japan. Isn’t that weird? Just a few months ago, almost people banned Japanese products, but as Japanese games get popular, they are buying Japanese products. I do not mean to criticize people who consume Japanese products. I just have questions about people who reacted so sensitively to Japan before, but now become limitlessly generous to it and post games on SNS. For them, was the boycott simply a trend, just like the Animal Crossing is in fashion now?
Also, people who used to blame other people who bought the Japanese products and now enjoy the Nintendo game have the courage to be blamed, right? The choice to boycott a country is never a simple decision. Nevertheless, if we decided to boycott Japan, we should have kept that choice. Do not think of the boycott, which involves history, international affairs, and sharp confrontations, as a move that allows you to comfortably quit at any time.
Lee Da-young firstname.lastname@example.org
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