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South Korea urges Japan to scrap export curbs, pledges help to firms

South Korea urges Japan to scrap export curbs, pledges help to firms”

South Korea plans to complain to the WTO.

Japanese and South Korean officials plan to hold talks in Japan as early as this week on the export restrictions, the Yomiuri Shimbun said Tuesday.

"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.

Tokyo last week tightened the approval process for Japanese shipments of photoresists and other sensitive materials to South Korean companies. Japan is also considering removing South Korea from a list of trusted export markets, a move that could affect a broader swath of products. "It should no longer walk straight toward a dead-end street", Moon said in a meeting with senior executives from 30 of South Korea's biggest companies, including the Samsung, Hyundai and SK conglomerates.

Major Japanese dailies criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's export restrictions announced on July 1, warning that they breach World Trade Organization rules and, due to the complexities of the supply chain, hurt Japanese business as well.

At Wednesday's meeting, Moon repeated that the government is seeking diplomatic solutions, and urged the Japanese government to respond appropriately.

"The measure is not a subject for consultation and we have no intention of withdrawing it either", Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

The dispute stems from Japan's frustration over what it sees as South Korea's failure to act in response to a ruling by one of its courts last October ordering Japan's Nippon Steel (5401.T) to compensate former forced laborers. According to the data, the number of illegal exports of such materials between 2015 and March this year came to 156.

While the stricter checks that took effect Thursday don't amount to a ban, exporters would be required to obtain a separate license each time they want to sell the materials to South Korea, causing delays.

"We applied the simplified procedures before to Korea, but now we changed, and just normal procedures will be applied - are applied - to (South) Korea".

"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's trade ministry is in talks with its Japanese counterpart about the timing and agenda, but nothing has been decided, a ministry spokeswoman said.

While noting that South Korea-Japan relations are unlikely to improve in the near future, she warned that the two sides should avoid taking a hard-line position.



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