Japan and South Korea agreed to end a trade dispute

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (REUTERS) (POOL /)

He Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced this Thursday that will lift its current export limitations on several articles, while seoul pointed out that will withdraw the protest it filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) for that reason.

The METI decision affects three vital materials for the production of semiconductors, display panels and mobile phones – fluorinated polymide, photosensitive resin and hydrogen fluoride -, according to a statement published today by the ministry.

“We acknowledge improvements in efforts and effectiveness in the control of South Korean exports and after the confirmation that South Korea to withdraw its application to the WTOwe have decided to review the export limitations on these three products”, detailed the METI.

The Japanese ministry’s decision comes after a three-day dialogue between the exporting authorities of both countries and coincides with the visit this Thursday of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to Tokyo to meet with the prime minister. Japan, Fumio Kishida, at a time of bilateral rapprochement between the two countries.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (REUTERS)
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (REUTERS) (POOL /)

In 2019, South Korea filed a protest at the WTO due to the limitations activated that same summer by Japan on its exports of goods to the neighboring country of basic chemical materials to manufacture screens and memory chips, essential components in computers, servers or “smartphones” and a basic pillar of South Korean exports.

Japan then argued that the measure responded to an alleged laxity in the control of these materials by South Korea, which makes it possible for these products to be used for military purposes.

Seoul believed, instead, that it was a reprisal against the decision of the end of 2018 of the South Korean Supreme Court that opened the door for Japanese companies to financially compensate enslaved Koreans in the colonial period (1910-1945).

Both countries recently reached an agreed plan to compensate these victims thus facilitating Yoon’s visit to Tokyo this week, the first by a South Korean president to Japan since late 2011.

(With information from EFE)

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