November 21, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
I chatted with my mom a bit about the Korean government, and about one of the recent moves made by the government that had a lot of Korean intellectuals up in arms.

It turns out that a little while back, the Korean government put in a mandate forcing all homes to install new gas meters in order to fall into compliance with new housing codes. By itself, this isn't a problem. That just makes good sense, as it's an easy way to maintain the safety of the population. However, some folks noticed that the new gas meters going in all said, "Made in Japan" on them, making it quite clear that somebody in the Korean government made a deal with a Japanese corporation; a couple of folks are getting quite rich in this mandatory and government-sanctioned upgrade.

In the end, the Korean government basically told journalists and other inquiring organizations to back off, causing the story to basically fall down into the memory hole. Corruption and greed are pretty universal, it seems.
np category: personal


Luke said:
Not sure what's unethical about buying a product from another country or contracting with a company based out of Japan? Everything we have is made in Taiwan but I've never thought it was corruption?
November 21, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
What you described is not unethical, as we're not forced to buy any of those things made in Taiwan.

Unethical is when all the energy companies in the U.S. decide that Americans are required to upgrade their power access-points their homes, on their own dimes, and it turns out that the access-points that we are forced to purchase are all made in Taiwan.

Basically, some Korean utility company has a snuggly relationship with a Japanese gas meter manufacturer. A deal was made to force all Korean citizens to buy these Japanese gas meters, making both them and the utility company very wealthy. This wealth just bought a Korean politician.

November 21, 2006

Luke said:
Oh, I see what you meant. Forcing people to purchase a specific brand of product would be unethical. Plus, nobody likes the Japanese anyway... ;)
November 21, 2006

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