TOKYO, Japan 29 (Korea Bizwire) – In the past 10 years, the number of Japanese high school students who have visited South Korea on school trips has dropped precipitously, with one cause believed to be the complicated relations between the neighboring countries.
According to reporting by Mainichi Shimbun, 3,246 Japanese youngsters came to South Korea in 2016, a mere 14 percent of the 23,197 who did likewise back in 2006.
The organization that conducted the research into the case of diminishing visits to South Korea explained that the Sewol Ferry Disaster in 2014 played a major role in deterring future visits.
The Sewol Ferry Disaster refers to the sinking of a ship carrying hundreds of passengers, a large number of them schoolchildren on a field trip, that caused national outrage and mourning as 304 drowned.
During the same time period, the number of Japanese students headed to China for school trips also dropped, from 14,031 to 3,398.
Trips to Taiwan, meanwhile, went up almost twelvefold from 3,552 to 41,878; Taiwan surpassed the United States (36,661) to host the most Japanese school trips in 2016.
Seeing as how Taiwan enjoys friendly relations with Japan while South Korea and China have at times been at odds with the island nation, particularly in regards to historical transgressions such as comfort women, the possibility that foreign affairs played a part in Japanese students looking elsewhere for trips has been raised.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)