The Latest on Japan’s tightening of restrictions on technology exports to South Korea (all times local):
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says the vice foreign minister has summoned the Japanese ambassador to Seoul to demand that Japan withdraw restrictions on exports of materials used in technology products.
The ministry said Monday that Vice Minister Cho Sei-young told the ambassador, Yasumasa Nakamine, that the controls could hurt South Korea’s industry and bilateral relations between the countries.
South Korea says it plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Japan’s imposition of restrictions on exports of key technology materials to South Korea for what it described as a deterioration of “international trust” between the Asian neighbors.
South Korean Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said Monday that the Seoul government sees Japan’s move as retaliation against South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean plaintiffs over forced labor during World War II.
Starting Thursday, Japanese manufacturers of fluorinated polyimides, which are used in displays and a material called “resist” and hydrogen fluoride, which are used in semiconductors, must apply for approval for sales to South Korea.
South Korean technology companies including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix say they are assessing how the Japanese import restrictions might affect their businesses.
Japan is imposing further restrictions on exports to South Korea, citing a decline in “relations of international trust” between the Asian neighbors.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said a review soliciting public comments starts Monday on the move to effectively remove South Korea from a list of so-called “white nations” that have minimum restrictions on trade.
Starting Thursday, Japanese exports related to technology in manufacturing, such as fluorinated polyimides used for displays, must apply for approval for each contract, the ministry said.
The statement did not say what exactly was behind the bilateral tensions.
But relations have soured since South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered the seizure of local assets of a Japanese company after it refused to compensate forced laborers during World War II.