South Korea Downgrades Trade Ties With Japan
Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said Japan will be downgraded from most trusted status to a new category, citing Tokyo’s violations of “the basic principles of the international export control regime.”
South Korea is open to discussions with Japan if the Japanese government requests them, Sung said, according to CNN.
The downgrade means South Korean companies exporting to Japan will have to complete more documents, allow more time for approvals and get used to shorter lifespans for permits. South Korean officials did not mention specific materials or items that will be affected.
Japan resumes exports of chemicals South Korea’s chipmakers need. But tensions remain, CNN wrote.
The minister said the decision was made based on discussions that took place last week, and “is not a corresponding measure to a recent regulation announced by the Japanese government.”
He was referring to Japan dropping South Korea as a preferred trading partner earlier this month. Tokyo said then it wanted to ensure South Korea received the same treatment as other Asian countries and territories.
The standoff between the two nations started last month when Tokyo placed controls on exports of three chemical materials to South Korea. The materials, which are used to make computer chips, are vital to Samsung and other South Korean companies that make semiconductors.