Despite the worsening diplomatic and economic relationship between Korea and Japan, some from the two countries continue to promote goodwill-based ties via social media.
Thousands of tweets from Japanese users have been posted with a hashtag written in Korean meaning “I like Korea” on Twitter, much to the surprise of Korean users of the site, who have expressed gratitude for the positive posts.
(Screen grab of Twitter)
Emoji resembling South Korean and Japanese flags, accompanied by heart and crying face icons on many of the posts, reflect a message of hope for friendship and positive relations between the neighboring countries.
“I like South Korea because there were so many kind people. I want to visit again. I will study Korean hard,” a Japanese user said via Twitter on Sunday.
One of the posts written in Korean by a Japanese user said, “I like Korea. Whatever the political problem is, I do not think badly about Korea. I apologize for my poor Korean.”
Under the hashtag, Japanese users explained why they had started learning about Korea and its language, some of them, in Korean.
Some Korean users joined the hashtag string of related tweets, sharing emotions with their Japanese counterparts to overcome the political animosity between the two nations.
“I’m so moved by this hashtag movement,” one Korean user said. “It’s the people who change the world.” The user added a new hashtag in Korean: “I like Japan.”
Meanwhile, several mobile chat groups are popping up on KakaoTalk with members sharing their travel tips for Japan. A major Korean online travel community on Japan recently stopped providing its service as part of a boycott of tourism to Japan and Japanese products.
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)