Japanese economist: Trade spat to hasten Korea’s economic autonomy from Japan
Sept 6, 2019
Global Korean Post
ByLee Kyoung Mi and Kim Minji
Amid worsening relations between Korea and Japan due to the latter’s economic sanctions, a Japanese economist predicts the Korean economy will accelerate its autonomy from its neighboring country and solve its economic dilemmas “with ease.”
In his Sept. 4 column titled “Never take lightly Korea’s power to achieve a breakthrough! Why Korea will not be affected by Japan’s pressure point attack using trade curbs” on the Japanese business media site Diamond Online, Satoshi Okuda, a professor at Asia University in Tokyo known for his interest in the Korean economy, said, “(The bilateral conflict) is an opportunity for both countries to once again consider what proper economic relations between them should be.”
“Depending on case, (the trade row) could be Korea’s chance to promote localization in one burst.”
Okuda said, “Japan’s export curbs have empowered Koreans to unite and gain the power to achieve breakthroughs in tough issues that seem impossible,” referring to Korea’s responses to the sanctions such as stepping up the localization of industrial materials and components, planning to file a complaint against Tokyo with the World Trade Organization, expressing fears over radiation contamination in Japanese waters, and conducting civic protests such as boycotting Japanese products and shunning travel to Japan.
The professor also warned that if Japan imposes additional sanctions, a backlash is highly likely and could propel a drastic change in the essence of Korean economy.
Explaining his positive view of the Korean economy, Okuda said, “The Korean economy showed phenomenal recovery from the (Asian) financial crisis of 1997-98 and the (global economic) crisis of 2008.”
“During the foreign exchange crisis, Koreans took part in gold and foreign currency donation campaigns and splendidly repaid its IMF emergency loans early, and during the (2008 crisis), Korea achieved a V-shaped recovery ahead of other developed countries as large Korean companies successfully tapped emerging markets.”
Considering their economic independence, Okuda urged both nations to regain their composure in bilateral ties.