President Park Criticized for Wearing Japanese Shoe Brand

Netizens have attacked President Park Geun-hye for wearing Japanese Asics brand shoes during her surprise appearance at a Korea Series championship game. While some voices online mocked the hyperbolic anti-Japanese criticism, others said that as head of state, Park should always be aware of how her wardrobe is perceived.

Park’s fashion was the subject of argument during her campaign as well, when netizens criticized her for having an expensive ostrich leather purse. Then-candidate Park’s staff denied the claim, saying it was domestically-produced leather.

Article from Segye Ilbo:

“In the middle of conflicts with Japan over Dokdo and other issues, President Park chooses to wear Japanese products rather than Korean…”

President Park has stirred up controversy online with her choice of wearing Asics during her ceremonial pitch in the Korea Series, the championship for the Korean Professional Baseball.

President Park's shoes, Asics Gel-Kinsei 4, retailing in South Korea for ₩210,000 ($198)

President Park’s shoes, Asics Gel-Kinsei 4, retailing in South Korea for ₩210,000 ($198)

‘Shouldn’t President Park have put on local-brand shoes?’

In a surprise move, President Park emerged as a ceremonial pitcher at a Seoul stadium for the Oct. 27th game three of the 2013 Korean Series. Online controversy was touched off over the brand of athletic shoes President Park was wearing for her pitch.

At that time, President Park, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and a pair of gloves embroidered with the Taegeuki, the national flag of South Korea, threw the pitch wearing Asics shoes, a Japanese brand.

Korean netizens have condemned Park’s actions, saying that the president behaved inappropriately by donning the Japanese shoes amid tension between South Korea and Japan over Tokyo’s provocative moves that include producing and distributing video clips claiming that the islets of Dokdo, (called Takeshima in Japan) are Japanese territory.

‘Every move by the president is closely watched by all people in the nation,’ said one netizen, ‘In this regard, the president, who is supposed to spare no attention to what to wear, including scarfs, purses, jewelry, made a public appearance in Japanese brand shoes. That is hard to understand.’

Some netizens raised concerns that the latest brouhaha could aggravate the already-negative public sentiment toward Japan, saying that the Japanese brand in question belongs to a right-wing Japanese firm sponsoring a campaign for changing the name of the disputed outcroppings from Dokdo to Takeshima.

Some analysts say that the shoes controversy is a result of huge public attention to President Park’s fashion, which has long received wide media coverage. Past items of interest include brooches, purses, and shoes worn at state functions.

President Park’s predecessors – Chun Doo-hwan, Kim Young-sam, and Roh Moo-hyun – made ceremonial pitches at Korean baseball games while they were in office, actions which never led to controversy. Observers say that presidential staff paid insufficient attention to Park’s outfit as the way the nation’s first female president dresses is always under public spotlight.

Comments from Naver:

I will eat my hat if the camera the photographer used for this photo is not made in Japan.


Your Galaxy smartphone has Japanese made parts. So take them off. And if you have watched pornography made in Japan and masturbated, cut off your genitals. If you are a woman who uses SK-II (a Japanese brand of cosmetics), please peel your skin off right away. Ha ha.


This is the craziest article that I have ever seen in my life. Someone should beat some sense into this reporter. Grow up!


Korea should stop looking at everything from a political angle.


A funny thing is that the Democratic United Party has more descendants from pro-Japanese collaborators and Moon Jae-in bought a full set of baseball uniform made by Descente (a more expensive Japanese brand than Asics). And Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun wore Asics shoes!



Following that logic, is it ok to chew out Kim Dae-jung, Park Won-soon and Moon Jae-in because they wore Asics and Descente goods?


The shoes were made by medium- and small-sized firms at the Kaeseong Industrial Complex, does that mean those companies are all pro-Japanese ones? hardly


“Atta, our Sir Kim Dae-jung also loved his pair of Asics shoes ~~~~~~~~”


There might be some made-in-Japan parts in pretty much all technological products that we use. -_-;; Do you think there is any 100% domestically produced product from high-end industries??


Hey journalist, do you write articles like a hermit in some mountain cave? Who would’ve known there still is a young person who thinks like that in this global era, ke ke. How can you even call yourself a journalist, ke ke ke ke ke ke.

Comments from Daum:

I think she wore shoes made in her country of origin, Japan, ke ke ke.


What’s the matter, she loves brands from her home country of Japan.


What else do you expect from a jjokbari.


She is the daughter of her pro-Japanese father, Park Chung-hee, isn’t her choice obvious?


This nation is in a real mess after that chicken brain idiot got into the presidential office…


I knew this was coming. She is no different from MB, along with most members of the Saenuri Party.


Park Chung-hee wrote a letter in blood to become an officer in the Japanese military during the colonial years. Now the daughter follows? I guess she will pay tribute to Japan soon.


How thoughtless she is!


Perhaps the shoes were a gift from Myung-bak?


How does she have time to act like an athlete in a baseball stadium! She should have been looking into the rigging of the presidential election!

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