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South Korea falls into a Confucianist-capitalist trap

Spats with Japan expose an institutional disregard for manufacturing

TOKYO -- Uncertainty has been infecting South Korea's market ever since a long-standing spat with Japan blew up into a trade war earlier this year.

At an investor forum last month in Seoul, a European executive was asked for an opinion on South Korea-Japan tensions. The executive said South Korea is in jeopardy of losing its standing as one of Asia's few countries with a clear political outlook. South Korea, the executive added, requires a quick course reversal.

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