South Korea-Japan Trade Fight Risks ‘Further Growth’

As the trade battle between two countries, South Korea and Japan drags on, Seoul announced it would minimize its economic dependence on Japanese industries. South Korea’s Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki stated at a continue briefing Wednesday that his government was “working on inclusive plans to minimize the country’s dependence on Japanese materials, components and equipment industries.” Relations between the two countries deteriorated on July 1 when Tokyo forced restrictions on exports of three high-tech materials to South Korea, which are hard for manufacturing semiconductors. Japan also removed South Korea from its white country list, and nations need to have trustworthy export control systems. One of those goods, hydrogen fluoride, was reportedly shipped to North Korea after it exported to the South. Seoul has denied those allegations. Koll stated that the tensions are a build-up of years of discontent and “the latest rulings by the supreme courts in Korea just tipped things over.” He was referring to a South Korea Supreme Court ruling last year, which ordered Japanese company Mitsubishi to compensate forced labour victims during Japan’s colonial occupation. The verdict drew a sharp rebuke from Japan, which said the matter was already settled under a 1965 treaty. Seoul has asked Tokyo to scrap the curbs on chemical materials used in making semiconductors, but that request was rejected. South Korea’s trade ministry stated Sunday it plans to raise the issue at the World Commerce Group’s general council meeting on July 23 to 24, according to a Reuters report.

As the trade battle between two countries, South Korea and Japan drags on, Seoul announced it would minimize its economic dependence on Japanese industries.

South Korea’s Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki stated at a continue briefing Wednesday that his government was “working on inclusive plans to minimize the country’s dependence on Japanese materials, components and equipment industries.”

Relations between the two countries deteriorated on July 1 when Tokyo forced restrictions on exports of three high-tech materials to South Korea, which are hard for manufacturing semiconductors. Japan also removed South Korea from its white country list, and nations need to have trustworthy export control systems.

One of those goods, hydrogen fluoride, was reportedly shipped to North Korea after it exported to the South. Seoul has denied those allegations.

Koll stated that the tensions are a build-up of years of discontent and “the latest rulings by the supreme courts in Korea just tipped things over.”

He was referring to a South Korea Supreme Court ruling last year, which ordered Japanese company Mitsubishi to compensate forced labour victims during Japan’s colonial occupation. The verdict drew a sharp rebuke from Japan, which said the matter was already settled under a 1965 treaty.

Seoul has asked Tokyo to scrap the curbs on chemical materials used in making semiconductors, but that request was rejected. South Korea’s trade ministry stated Sunday it plans to raise the issue at the World Commerce Group’s general council meeting on July 23 to 24, according to a Reuters report.

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