South Korean protesters take part in a "Wednesday demonstrations" in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in August. Japanese newspapers are calling for improved policymaking in Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Opinion is growing in Japan that disputes between Tokyo and Seoul need to be settled, citing South Korean boycotts of Japanese goods and a significant decline in Korean tourism to Japan.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei published an editorial Friday that said growing anti-Japanese movements in Korea are a concern, specifically boycotts that hurt Japanese companies.
"One issue to worry about is the changing trend in boycotts, which were once temporary and limited in Korea," the editorial read. "It is necessary to prevent the spread of criticism of Japan in Korean society that hurts corporate activities and private exchanges."
The Nikkei said the number of Korean visitors to Japan is dropping, estimated to be about 7.5 million people annually. The paper proposed hate speech rallies in Japan need to come to an end, and that politics should not affect people-to-people exchanges.
"The longer this conflict between the two governments takes, the greater the loss for the people of the two countries," the Nikkei said. "Rather than worsening relations, is it not the role of politics to find an exit?"
The Mainichi Shimbun said the replacement of Foreign Minister Taro Kono in the recent reshuffle of Japan's cabinet could help diplomacy. Toshimitsu Motegi was appointed to the top diplomatic position on Wednesday.
The Mainichi said Friday Kono exacerbated tensions with Seoul when he summoned the South Korean ambassador to Japan and rebuked him for Seoul's "rude" remarks.
On Friday the Asahi Shimbun published letters from readers expressing concern about tensions.
Naruhiro Hai, 43, a physician, said he is worried the tensions could affect his work in leukemia treatment. Doctors in the two countries shared bone marrow donors to each other's benefit, he said.
In Seoul, opposition party conservatives said President Moon Jae-in should focus on improving the U.S.-South Korea alliance, during next week's meeting with President Donald Trump, Yonhap reported.
Moon and Trump are to meet for the first time since June.