The Saturday editions of all national dailies highlighted the adoption by the municipal assemblies of Seoul and Busan a day earlier of ordinances designating a total of 284 Japanese firms that were allegedly involved in forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula as “war crime enterprises” and recommending that their products be boycotted. Sankei opined that these moves indicate escalating anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea incited by the Moon administration, projecting that the adoption of the anti-Japanese legislation by the assemblies of the country’s two largest cities may embolden other communities to follow suit.
The Busan assembly also adopted a separate ordinance authorizing the installation on public roads of structures commemorating historical incidents. Sankei expressed concern that this ordinance will prompt civic groups across South Korea to build statues representing the former comfort women and requisitioned workers.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga reportedly expressed “extreme regret” over the adoption of the ordinances and said that they could put the Japanese firms at an economic disadvantage by “denouncing them groundlessly based on inappropriate and irrational logic.” The government spokesperson reportedly asked the Korean side to “act prudently.”