Overseas Network, July 25, at the meeting of the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 24 July, representatives of Japan and South Korea issued their respective opinions and blamed each other for strengthening the export control of semiconductor materials by the Japanese government. At the meeting, the ROK proposed a high-level dialogue to the representative of Japan, but Japan did not reply. At the afternoon meeting, the ROK again asked Japan to respond to the dialogue proposal, but still did not receive a specific response. It is worth mentioning that the representatives of the United States, who were considered to be able to mediate the contradictions between Korea and Japan, did not speak at the meeting.
According to KBS International Radio of Korea on July 25, at the meeting on the same day, Kim Sheng-ho, Director of New Trade Order Strategy of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Resources, attended by the chief representative of Korea, said that Japans restrictions on the export of semiconductor key materials to Korea violated WTO regulations, had nothing to do with national security, and publicly demanded that high-level officials from Korea and Japan should do so. The Japanese side did not reply. At the meeting in the afternoon of the same day, the ROK once again asked Japan to respond to the dialogue proposal, but Japan has not yet responded specifically.
Kim Sheng-ho said that solving problems through dialogue is the position that South Korea has always adhered to. The refusal of dialogue shows that Japan has no courage and confidence to face its own actions directly. He reiterated that the trade restriction imposed by Japan on 4 July was a retaliation against Japan and South Korea on the issue of labor expropriation compensation litigation.
According to Kyodo News Agency, Japans Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shinwu Yamaguchi, and the Permanent Delegation to Geneva International Organizations, on behalf of Junichi Iwahara, attended the meeting on that day. Regarding the statement made by the representative of the ROK, Ihara Junichi said that Japans measures were based on considerations of national security. It is not appropriate to discuss (strengthen export control) with the ROK in the WTO, and strengthen control does not belong to the reverse of free trade referred to by the ROK.
According to Yonhap News Agency on the 25th, Ihara Junichi also said that South Korea accused Japan of violating the order of free trade, but free trade does not allow sensitive goods and technologies that may be used for military purposes to be traded without any control. In addition, the Yonhap news agency reported that the U.S. delegates who were considered likely to mediate the contradictions between Korea and Japan did not speak at the meeting.
Tensions between Japan and South Korea could not be eased, and demonstrations broke out in South Korea. (Visual China)
On July 1, the Japanese government announced that it would tighten controls on raw materials for the three semiconductor industries exported to South Korea from the 4th and exclude South Korea from the white list of trade. Products subject to export control are important raw materials in smartphones, chips and other industries.
Japan explained that the measure was taken because the trust relationship between the two countries has been damaged and the improper situation of the ROK has been found. South Korea responded, which was a retaliatory measure in World War II labor claims and violated WTO rules. Over the past few days, the Korean people spontaneously organized a series of boycott of Japanese goods action.