Japanese cosmetics brand DHC’s Yoshiaki Yoshida publicly used a racial slur for Koreans, causing controversy.
“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,’” CEO Yoshida wrote in a statement published last month on the company's website. "Chon" is a derogatory term for Koreans in Japan. Yoshida went on to write that DHC's models by comparison were all “pure Japanese.”
Once reported, his statement has caused a storm of criticism for being a “clear hate speech” on Japanese social media. A boycott against DHC’s products with the hashtag "I no longer buy products from discriminatory DHC" is also taking place. “The top leader of a company should not be making such a blatantly discriminatory remark,” said Kanako Otsuji, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, agreeing with the boycott. When asked about the CEO’s comment by the Dong-A Ilbo, DHC only repeated that it would look into it.
This is not the first discriminatory comment made by CEO Yoshida against Koreans. In 2016, he also wrote on the company’s website, describing Koreans in Japan as “pseudo-Japanese” and demanding them to return to South Korea. Last year, far-right figures appeared on DHC TV, a subsidiary of DHC Corporation, and made racial comments regarding South Koreans’ boycott of Japanese products, saying that South Korea is quick to move on to the next thing and the Korean alphabet of “Josenjin” was developed by Japanese.