SEOUL, March 11 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s imports of Japanese beer climbed for the fifth straight month in January, data showed Thursday, amid signs of a weaker local boycott of goods from the neighboring country.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy brought in 1,072 tons of Japanese beer in January, up a whopping 670.3 percent from the same month last year, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service and the liquor industry.
Industry watchers said the consecutive increase is due to weakening anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea.
Imports of Japanese beer have been on the rise since September last year in a sharp turnaround from a tumble sparked by the boycott of Japanese goods.
In July 2019, South Koreans launched the boycott in protest of Japan’s export restrictions of three key industrial materials to South Korea.
South Korea views the Japanese moves as retaliation against 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Imports of Japanese beer plunged from 9,462 tons in June 2019 to 5,131 tons in July, 245 tons in August and a mere 4 tons in September.
Imports from Japan accounted for 5 percent of South Korea’s total beer imports in January.
China was the largest beer exporter to South Korea with 6,836 tons, or some 32 percent of the total, followed by the Netherlands with 4,002 tons, the United States with 1,972 tons and Belgium with 1,334 tons.