Protest in South Korea against Japan

Marco Green
July 21, 2019

South Korea will step up its efforts this week to fend off a move by Japan to impose additional trade restrictions against Seoul, according to government officials on Sunday, amid a growing trade dispute that could also disrupt global supplies of semiconductors and smartphones.

South Korea is sparing no efforts to persuade the worldwide community this week to help press Japan withdraw its export restrictions on high-tech materials and impugn Tokyo's reasoning behind its retaliatory measures.

He said Japan will take necessary measures on the issue in light of the tense relations between the countries, adding that South Korea was responsible for the situation. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access! Article 11 prohibits quantitative restrictions on the importation or the exportation of any product among member nations. Bolton is expected to visit Seoul for two days from Tuesday after talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo.

Instead, Japan has cited "inadequate management" of sensitive items exported to South Korea, with Japanese media reporting some items ended up in North Korea.

"SK hynix is known to have entered into an emergency operation immediately after the announcement of Japan's export curbs. It will include all the grounds and evidence that can back the stance of the Korean government", said an official of the Industry Ministry. Wednesday is the deadline for the Japanese government to gather opinions on the amendment of its presidential decree, which will determine whether it excludes Korea from its whitelist.

Beer-loving South Koreans angered by a trade row with Tokyo are boycotting Japanese brews in a surge of patriotism that has even seen popular beauty bloggers targeted.

The world's seventh-largest exporter reached $181 billion in exports from January to April, a 6.9 percent drop from the same period of previous year.

In South Korea, where nearly seven in 10 people report negative feelings toward the country's former colonial ruler, the spat has even led beer-lovers to boycott Japanese brews.

During his trip, Bolton is also likely to seek support for a USA initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle Eastern shipping lanes, which has been greeted warily by allies reluctant to raise tensions with Iran. Tokyo is reportedly planning to expand the restrictions to other sectors.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said Japan's actions are politically motivated and have caused an "unprecedented emergency" for his country's export-driven economy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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