Japan and Korea end trade dispute
TOKYO: Japan will end export controls on semiconductor materials bound for South Korea, and Seoul will withdraw a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization, the countries announced on Thursday.
Trade ministries from both sides made the announcement as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol arrived in Tokyo for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kidshida to rebuild ties between the two neighbors.
Yoon said he looks forward to starting a “new chapter” in relations just hours after North Korea once again rocked its neighbors by launching a long-range ballistic missile.
Tensed relations between Japan and South Korea hit a rock bottom in 2018 after a South Korean court ordered Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during the war and their families.
Japan’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement it had decided to raise curbs and return to “special blanket general approval… as was the case prior to July 2019.”
“We have confirmed that the Korean side will announce the withdrawal of a petition to the WTO regarding Japan’s export controls,” it said, a stipulation confirmed by the Commerce Ministry in Seoul.
Japan rejected South Korea’s 2018 court ruling, arguing that colonial-era disputes were settled in 1965. Diplomatic relations were normalized that year, and Tokyo gave Seoul about $800 million worth of loans and economic aid, the equivalent of several billion dollars today.
The two sides then launched trade measures against each other and suspended cooperation on several fronts as ties crumbled.
The South Koreans also staged a widespread boycott of Japanese goods, including beer, cosmetics, and cars.
Yoon visits Japan after announcing a plan to compensate forced labor victims through a foundation with no direct involvement from Tokyo.
The rapprochement between the Asian neighbors has been welcomed internationally, but the forced labor compensation agreement has Resistance inspired within South Korea.
In light of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, Yoon and Kishida are also likely to agree to the resumption of bilateral security talks involving foreign and defense ministry officials, Tokyo sources said. Such talks were last held in 2018.
Earlier Thursday, Pyongyang appeared to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile, despite UN Security Council resolutions imposing economic sanctions on the country.
The ballistic missile is believed to have fallen into the Sea of Japan outside of Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
As part of efforts to increase bilateral cooperation, Kishida and Yoon could agree to set up an Economic Security Dialogue that would allow both countries to discuss ways to strengthen semiconductor supply chains to meet the challenge of a global chip shortage. said the sources.
At a meeting with South Koreans living in Tokyo on Thursday, Yoon stressed the importance of the future cooperation between the two nations and expressed hope that they will play a significant role in building “forward-looking” bilateral ties.
The last time a South Korean president traveled to Japan was in June 2019 for the G20 summit in Osaka. At the time, however, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was not holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch