Japan has once again resumed its exports of sensitive chemicals to South Korea which had been stopped due to a trade dispute last month. But the resumption of these exports has been done with a warning that Japan can put curbs on these dealings in future. Japan stated this week that it will allow exports of critical components that are vital for the semiconductor industry of South Korea. Firms like Samsung use these components to make computer chips and other high tech products. Tokyo had recently restricted exports of three chemical products to South Korea citing concerns of national security.
As per new curbs now Japanese firms that want to export these products to South Korea will have to apply for new licenses that will take around 90 days to complete. Though South Korean government had earlier termed the action by Japan as reckless has now affirmed that Japanese firms have now received government approval to start shipping one of the restricted chemicals. The approval was granted after Japanese government carried out detailed screenings and affirmed that no national security concerns would be affected. As per chief cabinet secy. of Japan Yoshihide Suga these operations show that permission for trade is being given for appropriate cases and there is no trade ban.
Japan’s minister of economy trade and industry stated that they could expand trade restrictions if it was found that exports are being made beyond the approved three chemical products. This change in stance is barely a week after Japan announced its decision to remove South Korea as a preferred trade partner that is likely to escalate into a dispute which will negatively affect global supply chain for smartphones and other electronic devices. By removing South Korea from its trading partner list implies that exports from Japan to that country will be screened closely to ensure that they are not used for military and weapon applications.
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