Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Most Japanese Support Export Restrictions Against Korea

Most Japanese Support Export Restrictions Against Korea

South Korea's trade minister on Tuesday said an inspection of companies that process and export the chemicals imported from Japan found no sign of illegal transactions allowing them to reach North Korea or any other country affected by United Nations sanctions.

Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of South Korea's presidential National Security Office, arrived in Washington on Wednesday and told reporters he would discuss the trade spat with Japan with US officials.

Also caught in the fray are Japanese chemical suppliers such as JSR Corp. and Stella Chemifa Corp., which are exploring ways to supply South Korean clients from plants outside Japan.

He spoke after South Korean officials urged Japan to drop the plan to further tighten export controls on fluorinated polyimide, resist, and hydrogen fluoride and related technologies, telling a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva that the Japanese measures would affect electronics products worldwide.

Nogami was responding to a question about a list of strategic materials illegally being exported out of South Korea released by Rep. Cho Won-jin of the minor opposition Our Republican Party in May.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said South Korea had asked Japan for an explanation of the curbs and that working-level officials would respond. According to the data, the number of illegal exports of such materials between 2015 and March this year came to 156.

"The Japanese government's move to inflict damage on our economy to serve political purposes and link [the issue] with sanctions against North Korea without any evidence is surely not ideal for the friendship and security cooperation between the two countries", Moon said.

It has long claimed that the South Korea-US alliance has been strained beyond fix under the Moon administration, saying that due to the president's focus on mending ties with North Korea, the government has disregarded bilateral relations.

"I want to ask why President Moon can not ask President Trump to persuade Japan (to mend its ways)", Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Rep.

She went on to say that the US by not intervening in the issue "again revealed the current state of South Korea-US relations".

South Korea has summoned a Japanese embassy official to protest Abe's suggestion that it could not be trusted to faithfully implement sanctions against the North, South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Kim In-chul said. Japan holds that all claims were settled.

Most Japanese support new export restrictions on materials vital to Korean IT giants in a surge of jingoistic sentiment in the island country amid never-ending historical spats between the two countries.

The dispute stems from Tokyo's frustration at what it calls a lack of action by Seoul over a South Korean court ruling last October that ordered Nippon Steel to compensate former forced labourers.

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