The chief executive of a popular cosmetics brand in Japan is under fire for using a term deemed a racial slur for Korean people.
- “For some reason, the models hired for Suntory’s commercials are almost all Korean-Japanese. And that’s why they’re mocked online as ‘Chontory. From the celebrities we use, to everything else we do, we are a purely Japanese company,” he wrote.
- While Suntory is known for making beverages, it’s a competitor for DHC in the health supplement sector, BBC reports.
- Calling its competitor “Chontory” earned backlash since “Chon” is used as a derogatory word for Koreans in Japan.
- Many social media users are now calling for a boycott of the company.
- Japanese Twitter users created the hashtags “I no longer buy products from discriminatory DHC” (#差別企業DHCの商品は買いません) and “Don’t sell DHC products at convenience stores” (#コンビニはDHC商品を置くな) to express their disgust over the comments.
- DHC declined to respond when Japanese media sought a comment.
Repeat offender: Yoshida has embroiled himself in a similar controversy before when he made a statement discriminating against Koreans back in 2016.
- In a message posted on the DHC website, the executive called Koreans staying in Japan as “pseudo-Japanese.”
- He also suggested that they should return to South Korea.
- Last year, the company faced a similar call for boycott after far-right politicians appeared on DHC TV and made racial comments against South Koreans.