|DHC products are on display at a cosmetics shop in Seoul, Tuesday. Popular health and beauty stores here including Olive Young have joined moves to boycott DHC products amid growing controversy over DHC Television's hate speech against Koreans. / Yonhap|
By Jun Ji-hye
DHC Korea, the Korean unit of the Japanese beauty company, will demand its Tokyo-based headquarters stop airing TV programs containing hate speech against Koreans amid worsening relations between the two nations, the company said Tuesday.
DHC Korea CEO Kim Moo-jeon issued a statement, Tuesday, stressing that the Korean unit has never been involved in controversial programs aired by DHC Television, the station owned by the Japanese manufacturer of cosmetics and health food supplements.
"Employees of DHC Korea are all Koreans including myself," Kim said. "I watched the programs and felt the same way as all Koreans did. DHC Korea does not agree with all comments made by panelists who appeared on DHC Television's programs. I will keep asking for them to stop airing programs contemptuous toward Koreans."
He also apologized for disappointing Korean consumers.
The statement came amid growing public anger here after DHC Television aired a talk show on YouTube, Saturday, in which panelists said the Korea-Japan trade row will cool down soon because Koreans, by nature, easily forget things.
The panelists also made a series of insensitive and historically incorrect remarks on Korea, including claims that Korea's unique writing system, Hangeul, was standardized by Japan.
Those comments fueled the mounting anti-Japan sentiment among Koreans following the Japanese government's regulations on exports to Korea, which has aggravated already troubled Seoul-Tokyo relations and ignited the "boycott Japan" movement.
Amid the controversy, popular health and beauty stores here such as Olive Young have joined moves to boycott DHC products.
Olive Young removed DHC products from its online store, while moving the products in offline stores to less visible areas.
Lalavla stopped sales of DHC products in its online store and decided to suspend additional orders. LOHB also stopped online sales of DHC products.
Actress Jung Yu-mi, who has been a model for DHC Korea since last year, has also asked the company to sever her modeling contract.
DHC made inroads into the Korean market in 2002, with its products such as cleansing oil gaining popularity.
But it remains to be seen whether the company will be able to recover its popularity any time soon as another DHC Television talk show aired Monday is provoking fresh controversy.
A politician from Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party claimed in the show that Korea unilaterally occupied Dokdo in 1951 and that Korea paid a large sum of money to lobby the U.S. government to ask for help to prevent Japan from removing Korea from its whitelist of trusted trading partners.
Dokdo, a set of rocky islets in the East Sea, has long been a source of diplomatic friction between Korea and Japan.