TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s trade minister says he’ll go ahead with a plan to strip South Korea of its preferred status in export licensing, saying Seoul has failed to provide a convincing explanation to address Japan’s doubts that South Korean export control is strict enough to catch sensitive materials potentially converted to weapons.
Japan on July 4 began requiring Japanese companies to require case-by-case export approvals for South Korea on three materials used in high-tech devices. Similar procedures may apply to other products when South Korea loses its “white” nation status.
Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko responded to his South Korean counterpart Sung Yun-mo’s demand earlier Wednesday that Japan drop the plan.
A “public comment” period on the decision ends Wednesday, and the change is expected to take effect within weeks.