Anchor: Japan's apparently retaliatory trade measures against South Korea over a forced wartime labor compensation dispute have prompted South Koreans to voluntarily boycott Japanese goods and travel to the neighboring country.
Choi You Sun has details of the ongoing campaign.
Report: In the wake of an intensifying "Boycott Japan" campaign in South Korea over Japan's export curbs, an online community called "NoNo Japan" has recently exploded in popularity, allowing users to easily share information about Japanese brands and alternative local products.
The website, which has around 60 registered products and counting, crashed early Thursday due to a surge in visitors. On the same day, an alliance of civic groups, including organizations representing small and mid-sized businesses in the city of Incheon announced their decision to remove Japanese products from their shelves.
A passenger ship operator running routes to Japan at the Busan Port terminal said that over the past month, more than 400 people canceled reservations, adding most of the cancellations were made by public sector employees.
The number of passengers on flights from nearby Gimhae International Airport to Japan, meanwhile, dropped by over one-thousand in the second week of July, in stark contrast to a five-thousand flight increase during the first week of the month.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, South Koreans accounted for 24 percent of total foreign visitors to Japan last year and were responsible for 13 percent of foreign tourist spending.
Experts expect the current drop in tourism will do more damage to the Japanese economy than the boycott of goods, especially since many South Koreans travel to Japan's smaller cities.
A Realmeter survey released on Thursday found 54-point-six percent of South Koreans said they were participating in the boycott campaign, up six-point-six percent from a week earlier.
The survey of 503 adults nationwide commissioned by TBS had a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus four-point-four percentage points.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.