A major Japanese cosmetics firm faced online boycott calls on Wednesday after its CEO used a racial slur for Koreans, and boasted his firm was “pure Japanese.”
DHC’s Yoshiaki Yoshida made the comments in a message on the company’s website in which he attacked rival Suntory, a major beverage manufacturer that competes with DHC in the health supplement sector.
“For some reason, the models hired for Suntory’s commercials are almost all Korean-Japanese. So that’s why it seems they’re mocked on the Internet as ‘Chontory,'” he wrote.
“Chon” is a derogatory term for Koreans in Japan, widely regarded as discriminatory.
Yoshida went on to write that DHC’s employees by comparison were all “pure Japanese.”
Discrimination against Koreans in Japan goes back decades, against a backdrop of tense ties between Seoul and Tokyo over issues related to wartime history.