TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials say they are pursuing procedures to downgrade South Korea’s preferred nation status as Tokyo expands export controls over sensitive materials.
Japanese media reported Friday that as early as Aug. 2 the Cabinet will approve a plan to drop South Korea from a list of 27 countries granted preferential trade status.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga did not confirm the date, but said Japan is going ahead as planned. The delisting would take effect three weeks after the Cabinet’s approval. That would be around Aug. 23.
On July 4, Japan began requiring case-by-case export licenses for exports to South Korea of three materials used in high-tech devices. Tokyo also announced plans to drop South Korea from its list of countries allowed preferential trade status, pending “public comments” and Cabinet approval.