South Korea's Moon urges Japan to remove export curbs

South Korea's Moon urges Japan to remove export curbs

Japan has said the moves are not in violation of WTO rules.

Celina Yoon has more.

Japanese and South Korean officers plan to carry talks in Japan as early as this week on the export restrictions, the Yomiuri newspaper stated on Tuesday.

Amid pressure from South Korea for the measure to be withdrawn and calls for dialogue on the matter, Japan's top government spokesperson said there was no need for discussion.

Analysts say the Japanese measure won't have any immediate meaningful impact on South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which have sufficient supplies of the materials for now, given the slowdown in demand for semiconductors.

"The measure is not a subject for consultation and we have no intention of withdrawing it either", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference.

South Korea's trade ministry is in talks with its Japanese counterpart about the timing and agenda.

Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co Ltd has a plant in South Korea and can supply photoresists to Korean clients "for the time being", a spokesman said.

More news: Apple updates MacBook Pro and Air, discontinues 12in MacBook

"After the inspection of hydrogen fluoride, not a single piece of evidence was found that [such material] imported from Japan flowed to countries under United Nations sanctions including North Korea", said Sung at the Central Government Complex in Seoul. The move was apparently in retaliation to a recent Supreme Court ruling here that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Koreans forced to work in their factories during Japan's colonial rule of Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, speaks during a meeting with senior aides at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 8, 2019.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said it was "critical to ensure strong and close relationships between and among our three countries in the face of shared regional challenges" including that posed by North Korea.

The materials, including fluorine polyimide, photoresist and etching gas, are used to produce semiconductors and display panels that inevitably influence the manufacturing of smartphones, TVs and other tech products.

South Korea's benchmark index. Seoul couldn't rule out countermeasures for the harm they inflicted on corporations in South Korea, Moon added.

The neighbors share a bitter history dating to the Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, including forced use of labor by Japanese companies and the use of comfort women, a euphemism for girls and women, many of them Korean, forced to work in its wartime brothels.

Stella Chemifa Corp has a joint venture plant in South Korea which can ship hydrogen fluoride to Korean clients, but it declined to comment on how much of its clients' needs the joint venture plant could fulfill.

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