The 'Land of the Rising Sun' for centuries was a very closed society until the first Europeans opened the door for trade. Japan then became and remained an economic powerhouse through the 20th century until today.
Japan is an archipelago in the northeastern Pacific region with a population of about 126 million, making it the world's 10th most populous country. It is currently the world's 3rd largest economy. The country today blends a distinctly Western lifestyle with its ancient religion and traditions that go back thousands of years.
From beer to cameras and cars - many South Koreans angered by a trade spat with Tokyo boycott Japanese products. On instagram many show signs that say: "I won't go to Japan, I will not buy Japanese products". And many store owners are taking Japenese products off their shelves in a surge of patriotism.
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Discord over war-era labor compensation has snowballed into a rapidly escalating trade conflict between Japan and South Korea. Seoul said today it was moving to reduce its dependency on Japanese exports - and Japan may yet remove South Korea from its list of preferred trading partners. The dispute could hurt global supply chains. Allies, like the US, are concerned.