South Korea to resume WTO complaint over Japan’s export curbs after talks stall By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An industrial port is pictured in Tokyo

By Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Tuesday it would recommence proceedings against Japan at the World Trade Organization over export controls on some high-tech materials, adding that talks to resolve the dispute had so far failed to make progress.

Seoul plans, however, to continue dialogue with Tokyo which it accuses of not showing sufficient commitment to resolving problems, while proceeding with the WTO complaint.

“Our government has reached the conclusion that it is difficult to see this situation progressing through normal dialogue, which had been the condition for us suspending procedures to settle this through the WTO,” South Korea’s deputy minister for trade & investment, Na Seung-sik, told reporters.

“Through the WTO complaint, we will prove the illegality and unfairness of Japan’s export controls and raise international awareness,” he added.

Bilateral relations deteriorated after South Korea’s Supreme Court in 2018 ordered two Japanese companies to compensate wartime workers in a ruling that Tokyo said violated international law. Japan says the issue of compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty.

Following the ruling, the Japanese government said in July last year it would stop preferential treatment for shipments to South Korea of three materials whose production it dominates and which are used by firms such as Samsung Electronics (OTC:) Co Ltd.

Curbs on two of the materials – hydrogen fluoride, used as an etching gas in the chipmaking process and fluorinated polyimides, used in smartphone displays – remain in place and exporters need to gain permission for each shipment, which takes around 90 days.

A Japan trade ministry official said Tokyo will decide on its next course of action after seeing details of South Korea’s announcement.

Although the curbs have led to a sense of crisis within Korea Inc about its dependence on some Japanese goods, South Korea has not seen major disruptions to imports of those materials due to the efforts of South Korean firms, Na said without elaborating.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.