Today’s news story comes from Seoul, where a coalition of business owners are set to begin a boycott on March 1 of Japanese products. The story can be found here, as reported by the Korea Herald via Asia News Network. the group is organizing this boycott in protest over Japan’s recent celebration of Takeshima, the Korean islets known as Dokdo.
The groups involved total more than 6 million members are represent about 80% of all Japanese product vendors in Korea. The brands they represent are some of the most recognizable such as Mild Seven cigarettes, Asahi beer, Nikon cameras, Uniqlo clothes, Sony electronics, Toyota, Lexus and Honda cars. The group has proven effective in their strategies before, having successfully forced big-box retailers to close in Seoul and got two major credit card companies to lower rates.
In the past usually groups target the Japanese government whenever a Takeshima ownership statement is released, in fact the Park Geun-hye’s office reminded Japan that Dokdo is Korean territory and their actions are unacceptable. This move is different, as it directly attacks Japan where it could actually do some damage. Since the Japanese economy is in trouble, some even say in a recession, if the boycott is successful and Japanese products are taken off the shelves, it could put enough pressure on Japanese companies to have them exert pressure on their government to finally address the issue and bring it to resolution.
I’m not sure this boycott will work, but I think the strategy is fairly ingenious and better than directly engaging the Japanese government. What do you think? Will the boycott be successful? Is it a good strategy?