South Koreans hit Japan’s PM with kimchi during rally in Seoul

South Korean protesters have staged rallies in the capital Seoul against Japan amid a trade dispute between the two countries.

Protesters gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday and hit a man wearing a mask resembling Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with kimchi, a traditional food made of cabbage.

They also cut Japanese dolls to support the call for a boycott of Japanese goods.

Another civic group held a rally and described the export curbs as an additional attack from Japan, saying Tokyo is already “a war criminal and a perpetrator to South Korea”.

Japan has tightened restrictions on the export of three materials vital to South Korea’s all-important tech industry, citing “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to the country.

Japan’s move came after a South Korean court ordered a Japanese company to compensate Koreans forced to work in factories and mines during the Japan’s 1910-45 colonial period.

S. Korea warns of global repercussions of Japan measures

Also on Wednesday, a South Korean government source warned that the export curbs will adversely affect global technology companies and harm the operations of tech giant Samsung in the American city of Austin.

If Japan goes so far as to remove South Korea from its “white list” of countries with minimum trade restrictions, it would cause a “tremendous amount of problems,” the source told reporters in Seoul on condition of anonymity.

The source noted that Japan’s measures are inconsistent with World Trade Organization principles, but expressed his country’s keenness to resolve the row through dialogue.

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