Korea-based Japanese companies hit with huge losses

A widening boycott of Japanese products has started to bite.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service on Thursday, credit card transactions through KB, Lotte, Samsung and other major financial companies at Japanese retailers like ABC Mart, Uniqlo, Muji and DHC in Korea halved from W10.2 billion in late June to W5 billion in late July (US$1=W1,214).

Transactions at Uniqlo stores plunged 70.1 percent from W5.9 billion to W1.8 billion, while those at Muji and ABC Mart fell 58.7 percent and 19.1 percent.

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Koreans’ credit card spending in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and Fukuoka fell from W16.5 billion in the last week of June to W13.4 billion in late July, down about 19 percent.

One sector that was particularly affected was beer.

According to the Korea Customs Service, imports of Japanese beer stood at US$4.34 million in July, down 45.1 percent compared to June. Japanese beer was the top imported brew since 2009 but dropped to No. 3 as of July, while Belgian beer rose to the top spot ($4.56 million) followed by American beer ($4.44 million).