South Korea’s finance minister on July 8 pressed Japan to withdraw its export restrictions on key semiconductor materials as the Japanese move could have a negative impact on the global economy.
Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki said Japan’s export restrictions run counter to the principles of the World Trade Organization.
The comments came days after Japan began to tighten regulations on exports to Korea of hi-tech materials essential for the production of semiconductors and display panels -- namely fluorine polyimide, photoresist and etching gas.
Hong said the government will try to minimize the potential damage to local companies by closely coordinating with local industry and the international community.
President Moon Jae-in is set to meet with leaders of major conglomerates over Japan’s export restrictions.
The latest dispute stems from last year’s ruling by the Supreme Court that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during Japan‘s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.
But Japan has lashed out at the ruling, claiming that all reparation issues stemming from its colonial rule were settled under a 1965 government-to-government accord that normalized bilateral relations.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)