August 9, 2019
Trade relationship between the two countries have frayed in recent months.
Economy minister Hiroshige Seko announced Thursday that the Japanese government has granted approval for the shipment to South Korea of some of the three items used to produce semiconductors, the first such authorization since export controls on the items were tightened in July.
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry determined there were no concerns about the materials being diverted for military use, after confirming such details as their use at the export destination.
“As a result of strict screening, we have granted export approval for the first case that has been confirmed to involve no concerns,” Seko said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting.
He did not elaborate about the date the approval was granted, or what specifically was to be exported. However, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Thursday the material was resist.
Since July 4, the Japanese government has tightened controls on exports of hydrogen fluoride, fluorinated polyimide and resist to South Korea by requiring companies to apply for an individual export license.
The South Korean side has criticized the measure, calling it an export restriction and saying the move could have a global impact. The Japanese side has repeatedly said exports will be approved if screenings find no problems.
“This approval is intended to show that the export controls are not implemented in an arbitrary manner for legitimate trade,” Seko said at the press conference.Speech