See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

South Korea ramps up efforts to protect industries from Japan’s export curbs

The export ban imposed by Japan continues to be in place.


Written by

Updated: July 31, 2019

With just a couple of days remaining for Japan’s decision on removing South Korea from its whitelist of trusted trade partners, the Seoul government and businesses are ratcheting up efforts to protect industries that could be potentially hit by the move.

The chances are high that Japan could remove Korea from a whitelist of 27 countries that receive preferential trade treatment after Cabinet approval on Friday.

If Korea is removed from the whitelist, domestic companies need to get separate approval each time from the Japanese government when they import 1,115 parts and materials that are categorized as being capable of being used for developing weapons.

To combat potential setbacks, the government and companies are readying themselves.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is holding a briefing for the industries that could be affected by Japan’s export curbs. Starting from Monday for two weeks, the officials will meet with companies in a wide range of sectors — chips, display, shipbuilding, aviation, machine, automobile, auto parts, electronics, chemicals, bio, textiles, battery, steel and drones — in major cities nationwide.

On Tuesday, Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo visited local chip and display equipment maker Wonik IPS located in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

“If Japan takes any action, we will thoroughly respond by pooling all the capacity and resources of the public and private sectors to minimize the negative impact on the economy,” he said.

A day earlier, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said that “if the whitelist becomes a reality, the export curbs will be expanded. But we are preparing for all the possibilities for the additional retaliation in close cooperation with related ministries.”

On the same day, Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, who returned Saturday after meeting US politicians, think tanks and trade associations in Washington, said she would continue to make outreach efforts to persuade the international community.

If Japan removes Korea from its whitelist, the nation is expected to target materials for future growth industries, such as electric vehicles or hydrogen cars, that Korea is highly dependent on, according to industry watchers.

Korean battery makers, including LG Chem, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI, are preparing for Japan’s possible restrictions. LG Chem Vice Chairman Shin Hak-cheol said during a press briefing on July 9, “We are doing ‘scenario planning’ to cope with the possible expansion of Japan’s export restrictions.”

Separately from the export restrictions, Japan is likely to put the brakes on the Korean shipbuilding industry.

Last month, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released a report which stated that “its priority would be file a complaint against the Korean shipbuilding industry with the WTO.”

Japan is now moving to take the next step after it filed a case against Korea’s shipbuilding industry with the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in November last year.

The report said subsidies of Korea’s state-run financial organizations to the shipbuilding industry flout WTO rules. “This will result in market disruption and oversupply in the industry.”

Industry sources also raised concerns that Japan’s antitrust watchdog may also disrupt the merger between Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering by intentionally delaying its approval.

Starting from submitting a request for formal approval from Korea’s Fair Trade Commission early this month, HHI is making similar requests to antitrust watchdogs in Japan, China, Kazakhstan and the European Union. It already sent the request to China‘ antitrust authorities on July 22 while not deciding yet when to submit it to Japan.

“As Japan’s economic retaliation is spreading into the entire industries, the possibility to oppose the merger also grew although it is difficult to prejudge given that it is a political issue,” said Han Gwang-hee, a professor at Hanshin University.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

Hundreds of thousands take part in massive Hong Kong march

Police seized a gun and bullets which they believed were intended to be used during the demonstration. HONG KONG – Hundreds of thousands braved the chilly weather in Hong Kong to join a massive and largely peaceful march on Sunday afternoon (Dec 8) hours after police, in a crackdown on the main island, seized a gun and bullets which they believed were intended to be used during the demonstration. Sunday’s march to mark Human Rights Day drew a crowd of 800,000, said the Civil Human Rights Front, the organiser behind the biggest protests in the city. The event was a sign of the level of support for the anti-government movement that has stretched for more than six months. The march, which began around 3pm, went on smoothly but tensions notched up at night when hundreds of protesters in face masks and helmets started building barricades in areas such as Central and Causeway Bay to slow down


By The Straits Times
December 9, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

7 of 10 Filipinos worried by presence of Chinese workers

China has increased its presence in the archipelago. The rising presence of Chinese workers in the country worry seven out of 10 adult Filipinos, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, as the government recently launched a crackdown against Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) which mostly employ Chinese nationals. The noncommissioned survey, conducted from Sept. 27 to 30, found that 31 percent “worried a great deal,” while 39 percent are “somewhat worried.” Highest in Metro Manila The proportion of those who were worried about the increasing number of Chinese workers in the country was highest in Metro Manila at 75 percent, followed by the Visayas at 71 percent, Luzon outside Metro Manila (69 percent) and Mindanao (67 percent.) About half of the respondents agree that the rising number of Chinese workers is a threat to national secur


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Pakistan to launch Digital Pakistan Vision

Imran hopes to unleash ‘potential of youth and women’ with new venture. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that with the introduction of the ‘Digital Pakistan Vision’, the full potential of the contribution of youth and the women to the economy will be unleashed. According to a press release from the Prime Minister Office: “The Vision sets Pakistan’s digital ambition and has been designed for the government and the private sector to work towards a digitally progressive and inclusive Pakistan.” Speaking at the launch ceremony of the initiative, the prime minister regretted not having launched it at the very beginning when his government was formed. “I should have given attention to Digital Pakistan earlier. This is the most important thing for Pakistan right now, especially its youth. The whole world is moving forward digitally and we have been l


By Dawn
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Huawei asks US court to overturn ban

The company is suing the FCC, the latest in a series of legal tussles. The legal battle between Huawei Technologies Co and United States government intensified on Thursday. The Chinese tech heavyweight announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn the latter’s order that bans telecom carriers from buying the company’s equipment via federal subsidies. The move is the latest push by the world’s largest telecom equipment maker to pursue fair competition and treatment amid a slate of restrictions from Washington. Analysts said the FCC ban would have very limited impact on Huawei’s financial performance, but labeling the company as a national security threat would cause far-reaching reputational harm. In a petition filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, Huawei asked the court to declare the FCC order un


By China Daily
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Rohingya Crisis Fallout

Transparency International Bangladesh has painted a grim outlook for the crisis. Bangladesh faces long-term financial, political and security challenges as Rohingya repatriation may not happen anytime soon, said Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman. The fund from the international community for nearly one million Rohingyas may not sustain as no strong international initiative has been taken to oblige Myanmar for creating a conducive environment for the refugees to return soon, he said. “As a result, Bangladesh’s socio-economic instability will grow. There are risks of security at local and national levels. The crisis also creates political and diplomatic challenges for the government,” Iftekharuzzaman said. It also involves the risks of growing extremism as the people who face violence are more likely to become violent, he said at a press confere


By Daily Star
December 6, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

North Korea has not given up hope for nuclear talks with US yet

Kim has mentioned a possibility of a ‘Christmas’ gift. Tensions between the US and North Korea have heightened as the two sides exchanged threats and bellicose rhetoric of possible military actions if necessary, amid their stalled nuclear talks. But they appear to have no intention to wind up their diplomacy at least for the next few weeks, experts said. On Wednesday, Heino Klinck, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said the US has been refraining from responding to every single one of North On Wednesday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Heino Klinck said the


By The Korea Herald
December 6, 2019