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Japan-South Korea rift

Boycott pushes Japan's beer shipments to South Korea to zero

Brewers lose a market that accounted for 60% of exports last year

The sign in the beer aisle of this South Korean convenience store says: "Japanese products not sold here." (Photo by Kenichi Yamada)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's beer shipments to South Korea fell to zero in October, hit by the ongoing campaign to boycott Japanese products amid soured bilateral ties, government data showed Thursday.

Beer exports came to nil for the first time since June 1999, following a 99.9% plunge in September and a 92.2% drop in August on a year-on-year basis.

Japan shipped 800.34 million yen ($7.3 million) worth of beer to the neighboring country in October last year, according to the data from the Finance Ministry.

South Korea had been a major export destination for Japanese beer, accounting for around 60% of the total overseas shipments by value in 2018.

Bilateral ties between Tokyo and Seoul have sunk to their lowest point in years due to a dispute over wartime labor compensation, which prompted a tit-for-tat trade spat.

The campaign to boycott Japanese brands ranging from clothes to vehicles has spread widely among South Korean consumers after the Japanese government introduced tighter export rules in July on key materials used by South Korean chipmakers.

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