In what is clearly a further sign of just how much Koreans loathe Japan with every fiber of their being, Lexus has overtaken BMW as the most widely purchased automobile import in Korea.
To the untrained observer, the surge in popularity of Toyota's luxury line might seem like many Korean consumers actually favor Japanese goods, but socio-cultural experts and old Korean hands can attest that the increase in sales masks a cleverly hidden and subtle form of duplicity on the part of the average Korean.
The fact is, they seek to buy Japanese cars so that they can drive them out in Seoul traffic and park them in Seoul parking lots where it is virtually guaranteed they will be scratched up. This passive aggressive form of animosity and enmity can also be seen in moviegoers who buy tickets to Japanese movies just so they can fall asleep during them, or club-goers who deliberately dance badly to J-pop (or sing really sucky karaoke).
It is reported that even those whose expensive Lexus somehow fail to be scratched up by other cars, motorcycles, and trucks edging by secretly harbor fantasies about cutting off their little pinkies while inside the vehicle and getting blood all over the high-grade leather interior.
The future of Japan-Korea relations indeed looks grim.
[photo: A somewhat older model IS 300. You, too, can do your patriotic part against Japan in President Roh Moohyun's "diplomatic war" by purchasing this overpriced monstrosity and having your infant child or drunken co-workers throw up all over the backseat.]
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