Japan steps back from South Korean trade war | Daily News


Japan steps back from South Korean trade war

The Japanese government has permitted the export to South Korea of a key chemical required for semiconductor manufacturing – the first approval granted since Tokyo tightened export restrictions on three strategic materials on July 4.

Last month’s move raised fears about production stoppages impacting the global electronics supply chain and plunged Seoul-Tokyo relations into what was seen as their worst crisis since diplomatic relations were established in 1965.

It was unclear whether Thursday’s development would cool the simmering emotions that have been marked, in South Korea, by political and media fury, demonstrations, Japanese product boycotts, and even protest suicides.

Japan’s trade ministry on Thursday permitted the shipment of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photoresist, also known as a resist, one of the three chemicals whose exports terms had been tightened.

Commenting on the move, Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s trade minister, said Japan “will not misuse” its export curbs. The release of the material was confirmed by South Korea Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon during an inter-agency meeting on Thursday morning, according to Yonhap news agency. “The biggest burden on the economy is uncertainty,” Lee said, calling the Japanese export restrictions “unjustifiable.” Still, he said he was determined to resolve the ongoing issue diplomatically.

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