SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s imports of consumer goods from Japan plunged 37 percent in April from a year earlier due to Japan’s export curbs and the new coronavirus impact on consumer spending, government data showed Sunday.
The value of imported Japanese consumer goods fell on-year to US$249 million last month as Korean consumers still opt not to buy Japan-made products amid trade tensions between Seoul and Tokyo, and the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).
In particular, imports of Japanese beer products plunged 89 percent to $630,000 last month from a year ago. Imported Japanese vehicles also declined 59 percent to $62 million during the same period, the KCS data showed.’
Last July, Japan tightened regulations on exports to South Korea of three high-tech materials critical for the production of semiconductors and displays.
In August, Japan also removed South Korea from its list of countries given preferential treatment in trade procedures.
South Korea views the moves as retaliation against 2018 Supreme Court rulings here ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Moreover, Japan’s entry restrictions on incoming passengers from Korea since March 9 amid virus fears and Seoul’s corresponding measures brought air travel between the two nations to a halt.