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[Newsmaker] 72-year-old man dies from self-immolation in apparent protest of Japan's trade curbs

A 72-year-old South Korean man died on Saturday three days after setting himself on fire in Seoul, police said, in apparent protest against Japan's trade curbs against Korea.

The man, whose identity was withheld, set himself ablaze near the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Seoul on Thursday morning. He died at 5:41 p.m. on Saturday while being treated at a hospital, police said.


Police found a bag that appears to belong to the man near the location of his self-immolation. The bag contained a mobile phone and other personal belongings, along with a note calling for Japan to withdraw its trade retaliation against South Korea, police said.

His personal belongings also included a book on the life of the late Kim Bok-dong, an iconic Korean victim of Japanese wartime sexual slavery, and a flyer that says, "The people will be fighting until Abe apologizes."

The man didn't leave a suicide note, but a paper containing telephone numbers of his family was found.

Japan, which tightened exports of key materials to South Korea on July 4 in apparent retaliation over compensation for wartime forced labor, decided to remove Seoul from a list of trusted export destinations on Friday. (Yonhap)