South Korea is on track toward barring Japan from its export control white list this month, in a blow for blow reaction to Tokyo’s prior choice to expel Seoul from its favored nation trading regime.
On July 1, 2019 the Japanese government restricted the export to Korea of three classes of materials: fluorinated polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride. These chemicals are utilized in important export-driven manufacturing operations in Korea. Seemingly, the restriction is in reaction to a Korean Supreme Court case concerning liability of Japanese companies to the Korean victims of WWII sex slavery.
Starting in July, the total volume of imports of these three materials remained at $800 billion and represented around 1.8 percent of all imports from Japan. The restrictions have not prompted any imminent problems for Korean manufacturer according to the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy.
It was announced by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy on August 12, 2019 that Japan shall be taken off this “white list.” The Korean Government shall implement this change after they receive feedback from the population via a public opinion survey. The Ministry did not unveil the number of people who had reached out it to express their views on the change. In any case, the related posting on the Ministry’s s received 2,000+ views. In Japan, in excess of 40,000 individuals communicated their views when the Japanese government declared its arrangements to change the country’s export control system to bar South Korea from its white list.
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