More acrimony in Japan-South Korea row as Tokyo lodges protesthttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/more-acrimony-in-japan-south-korea-row-as-tokyo-lodges-protest-5827841/

More acrimony in Japan-South Korea row as Tokyo lodges protest

Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, said it had broken an agreement on Japan's curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tech equipment.

Japan-South Korea relations, Tokyo protests, Japan South Korea export, High tech equipment export, Japan S Korea high tech equipment export, World news, Indian Express news
College students stage a rally denouncing the Japanese government’s export decision to South Korea in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. (AP)

Japan and South Korea traded further acrimony on Saturday, with Tokyo accusing Seoul of mischaracterising talks the day before that did not mend a dispute that could threaten global supplies of microchips and smartphone displays.

Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, said it had broken an agreement on what the two sides would disclose from the Friday discussions on Japan’s curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tech equipment, said a Japanese trade ministry official.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) also disputed a reported remark by a Korean official, saying in a statement that South Korea had not asked Japan on Friday to withdraw the restrictions.

Japan has tightened restrictions on the export of three materials used in high-tech equipment, officially citing what it has called “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to South Korea, as well as a lack of consultations about export controls.

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Japan-South Korea relations, Tokyo protests, Japan South Korea export, High tech equipment export, Japan S Korea high tech equipment export, World news, Indian Express news
Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, said it had broken an agreement on what the two sides would disclose from the Friday discussions on Japan’s curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tech equipment. (AP)

But the dispute also appears to be rooted in a decades-old wartime disagreement. It comes amid deep frustration in Japan over what is seen as Seoul’s failure to act in response to a South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to compensate former forced labourers.

A Korean official, as he was leaving Japan on Saturday, said the Korean side had asked Japan to withdraw the export curbs in the Friday talks, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported, without naming the official.

In response, Jun Iwamatsu, director of METI’s trade control policy division, told a hastily arranged news conference: “We’ve checked the record of the meeting … We found no clear comment asking for the withdrawal.”

Iwamatsu said the two sides had agreed on what they would disclose from the talks but that the Korean official went beyond the agreement. “We believe this is something that affects our relationship of trust,” he said. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka Editing by William Mallard and Jacqueline Wong.