Japan to lift restrictions on microchip trade with S.Korea
Japan will hold discussions with South Korea on removing trade restrictions on materials used in semiconductor manufacturing.
Japanese media reported on Monday, citing government officials, Japan will hold discussions with South Korea on removing trade restrictions on materials used in semiconductor manufacturing.
The Japanese trade industry has decided on reassessing the export restrictions imposed against Seoul in 2019, the Kyodo news agency reported. Equivocally, South Korea announced that it would suspend the corresponding complaint it had filed in this regard to the WTO.
The Japanese decision follows South Korea's statement relieving their demands for wartime labor compensation from Tokyo.
Origin of the Trade Conflicts
The announcement followed Seoul's presentation of its strategy earlier in the day to resolve the conflict with Tokyo over wartime labor compensation, according to the news source.
Japan banned the export of microchips production materials ( fluorinated polyimide, resists, and hydrogen fluoride) to South Korea in July 2019. Additionally, South Korea was taken off the so-called "white list," a list of nations authorized to purchase goods that may be modified for military purposes. The action was taken in response to a court decision ordering Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans for forced labor during the Second World War.
In response, the Japanese government claimed that the only factors causing the trade barriers were security considerations. South Korea responded by filing a WTO complaint and imposing a boycott on Japanese products.
Read more: Seoul to compensate Japan's forced labor victims, latter slam plan
Earlier today, South Korea had unveiled plans to pay victims of Japan's forced labor during WWII, intending to break a "vicious cycle" in Asian relations and boost ties between the two countries.
Seoul and Tokyo have already increased security cooperation, but bilateral ties have long been strained due to Tokyo's colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
The White House praised a "groundbreaking new chapter of cooperation and partnership between two of the United States' closest allies," as per a statement.
It is worth noting that Washington has exerted strained efforts to bring the countries together to solidify their alliance against China, which they identified as a mutual "threat".
Read more: China responds to US, Japan's increasingly anti-Beijing alliance