Japanese authorities have issued an alert for anti-Japan demonstrations expected in major cities around South Korea between Wednesday, August 14, and Thursday, August 15, to commemorate the "Days of Comfort Women" and "Glass Revenge" respectively. On Thursday, civil society groups have called for a march in Seoul. Participants plan to gather at 11:00 (local time) at the Seoul City Hall and then march to the Japanese Embassy. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned its citizens in South Korea to be cautious and avoid all demonstrations during this period. Further associated rallies are possible in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near all demonstration sites.
South Korea will also celebrate its 74th Liberation Day on Thursday. The government has arranged a celebratory ceremony starting at 10:00 at the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan (South Chungcheong province) where the president will give a speech. Increased security measures are expected in the area as multiple foreign dignitaries are due to attend the event.
Tensions have increased between Japan and South Korea in recent weeks over an ongoing trade dispute. Earlier in August, Japan removed South Korea from its trading "white list" of countries that have minimum trade restrictions. On August 12, Seoul announced it would also remove Japan from their "white list."
Individuals in South Korea - particularly Japanese citizens - are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions around protest sites.
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