SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea protested Wednesday against a Japanese plan to remove it from a Japanese list of countries facing minimal trade restrictions. This would undermine decades of economic and security cooperation and jeopardize free trade.
FILE PHOTO: A police officer is watching over the national flags of Japan and South Korea in a hotel where the South Korean Embassy in Japan is holding the reception on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Seoul and Tokyo in Tokyo June 22, 2015. REUTERS / Toru Hanai / File Photo
Japan's planned revision of a law to remove South Korea from its so-called white list is taking place in a worsening dispute over compensation for forced labor during the war and after Japan has tightened this month for the export of High -Tech materials to South Korea for the production of memory chips and scoreboards.
The South Korean Ministry of Industry stated in a statement that Japan's removal from the list of South Korea was a very serious matter that would undermine its economic and security partnership.
It urged Japan to cancel the plan, raising concerns about major disruptions to global supply chains involving South Korean chip and screen manufacturers.
"It is a very serious matter that shakes the foundations of the South Korea-Japan Economic Partnership and the Northeast Asian Security Co-operation, which has been maintained and developed for more than 60 years," South Korean Industry Minister Sung Yoon-mo said. told an instruction.
"The removal of South Korea from the White List of Countries violates international standards and we are concerned about the serious negative impact on global value chains and free trade," said Sung.
Japan is expected to decide to revise its list after asking public opinion what to do by Wednesday.
Japanese Department of Commerce officials were not immediately available for comments.
Issues over the list came after Japan tightened restrictions on the export of high-tech materials to South Korea this month.
The restrictions came when Japan complained about the lack of confidence in South Korea after a South Korean court ruled last year that Japanese companies must pay compensation to South Koreans working in Japanese factories during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 onwards Japan believed that the compensation issue had been settled under a 1965 treaty and that the court ruling violated international law.
Japan's highest government spokesman said Wednesday that relations with South Korea are in a "very serious" state and Japan will continue to urge South Korea to take appropriate action to address a series of problems that have disrupted relations.
USA. Technology groups with members such as Apple sent an open letter to Japan and South Korea on Tuesday calling for a swift resolution of their dispute.
"Non-transparent and unilateral changes in export control policies can lead to disruption of the supply chain, delays in shipping, and ultimately, long-term damage to companies and their employees working within and beyond their borders." said in her letter.
Apple is a major customer of South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Elec and SK Hynix.
Japan has threatened to remove South Korea from the list of countries under a trade control law that impose minimum trade restrictions requiring Japanese exporters to apply for a license for certain items that they wish to sell to South Korea and in which they could be used of weapons.
The Japanese list includes 27 countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
South Korea has intensified its diplomatic efforts to make Japan abolish its trade controls and asked the United States to help, although it has not rushed to intervene talks with Seoul-based US security adviser John Bolton.
Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by David Dolan in Tokyo and Jane Chung and Heekyong Yang in Seoul; by Robert Birsel