South Korea to remove Japan’s trusted trade partner status in September



Seoul: South Korea is expected to put into effect its decision to drop Japan from a list of trusted trading partners later this month, Seoul’s trade ministry said Sunday amid a growing trade row between the two Asian neighbors.

Early this month, the Seoul government decided to revamp the categorization of its trading partners into three groups from the current two, placing Tokyo in the in-between group, in a tit-for-tat measure against Japan’s decision to delist South Korea as a preferred trade partner.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the reclassification of its trade partners will go into effect by the end of this month after gathering public opinion until Tuesday.

Tokyo had been on Seoul’s top-tier list of 29 countries subject to preferential export procedures, which are members of the world’s top four export control agreements, including the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The newly established bracket, between the two existing groups, is for a country that participates in the four international agreements “but operates an export control system that violates international norms,” the ministry said earlier.

Japan implemented export curbs against South Korea in July, starting by restricting shipments of three industrial materials vital for Seoul’s mainstay technology industry, claiming Asia’s No. 4 economy operates a loose export control of sensitive goods.


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