Sewol Disaster Hits Japanese Local Economy

Added by Michael Penn on May 10, 2014. · 1 Comment · Share this Post

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Hanakairo Flower Park and Mt. Daisen (SNA)

Hanakairo Flower Park and Mt. Daisen (SNA)

SNA (Tokyo) – The April 16 tragedy of the MV Sewol in the territorial waters of South Korea has been exercising an impact on the local economy of Tottori Prefecture. This has occurred mainly due to the fact that the accident, in which more than three hundred people appear to have lost their lives, has deeply undermined the South Korean public’s faith in the safety of ferry boats. Tottori Prefecture, which faces the Korean Peninsula across the Sea of Japan, heavily promotes itself to South Korean tourists, and one of the main links through which tourist groups come to Japan is the DBS Cruise Ferry, which links Tottori’s Sakaiminato with Korea’s Donghae, as well as Russia’s Vladivostok.

The company which operates the ferry service reports multiple cancellations from South Korean tour groups, all of which seem to be linked to the safety fears raised by the Sewol tragedy.

Moreover, a K-Pop festival planned to be held in Yonago City on May 18 has been cancelled under the assumption that public turnout from the Korean Peninsula would fall well below what had earlier been envisioned. Also, some people felt that going ahead with the festival might appear to be in bad taste in light of the atmosphere of national mourning that now grips South Korea.

Many of Tottori’s tourist attractions, such as the Hanakairo Flower Park, are marketed directly to South Korea and pull in Korean visitors by the bus load.

Local officials and businesspeople reckon that a substantial negative impact on Korean tourism in the prefecture will be evident well into the summer months, if not beyond.

Update on May 13 at 16:00

On May 10, DBS Cruise Ferry conducted a full-scale disaster drill aboard its passenger ferry Eastern Dream (11,480 tons, 480 passenger capacity) in order to test its emergency procedures and to restore public confidence in the safety of their transport service. The drill scenario involved a fire breaking out on the ship while it was at sea, requiring a quick evacuation of passengers. Tottori prefectural government officials were invited to observe the drill.

The Eastern Dream captain told the local media that the success of the drill demonstrated that his ship was operated in a manner fully consistent with international safety standards.

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Source: Shingetsu News Agency

One Response to Sewol Disaster Hits Japanese Local Economy

  1. Byunghun June 6, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I did not see this impact.. interesting

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About the Shingetsu News Agency

The Shingetsu News Agency (SNA) was established in December 2010 by Michael Penn, a former university lecturer and journalist specialized in West Asian and Japanese history and politics.

The SNA aims to help fill the gap between the mainstream Japanese-language media, which is often well-resourced but burdened with a tendency to avoid investigative journalism and an unwillingness to communicate effectively with the outside world; and the foreign international media, whose presence in Tokyo is far weaker than most people realize, especially when it comes to video journalism. The net result is that Japan becomes a poorly understood nation both in its positive aspects as well as its negative dimensions.

The SNA’s dedicated team of journalists, cameramen, and video editors are working to reveal those underappreciated sides of Japan both for our clients as well as for the benefit of international society and the public more generally.

For more information, we can be reached at our e-mail account, which has the prefix shingetsunewsagency.