Friday, 19 July, 2019

Japan refuses to retract new export rules on S Korea

Boycotts against Japanese Products Beginning to Take Shapes Samsung boss visits Tokyo amid Japan-Korea trade scuffle escalation
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2019, 17:17

South Korea's Democratic Party said in a statement on Thursday it would include up to 300 billion won ($254.8 million) in an extra budget to cope with Japan's export limits on high-tech materials.

The countries share a bitter history dating to Japan's colonization of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, which saw forced use of labor by Japanese companies and the use of "comfort women".

The South Korean minister said the government hoped for Japan retracting the export curbs and not for the worsening of situations further, adding that South Korea will make efforts for the diplomatic resolution via dialogue with Japan.

China will have a windfall gain in electric and electronics industries if Seoul and Tokyo lock their horns in an uncompromisable trade war that would cause much more damage to South Korean companies, an economist said, calling for a diplomatic solution. The approval process takes 90 days which will significantly impact the production capabilities of companies like Samsung and SK Hynix.

The government said Thursday that Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha discussed the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone and conveyed Seoul's view that Japan's "undesirable" trade curbs could disrupt global supply chains and hurt trilateral cooperation among the countries.

Kang "expressed concern that this is undesirable in terms of friendly relations between South Korea and Japan and trilateral co-operation among South Korea, the USA and Japan", Kang's ministry said in a statement.

"Whether Japan implements additional measures depends on South Korea's response", he told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting.

Pompeo said he understood, and they both agreed to strengthen communication between the three sides, it said.

Prices of NAND flash memory chips have fallen sharply over the past year as output grew faster than demand and the U.S. The military alliance of "sending states" is ostensibly committed to sending troops and assistance to the Korean Peninsula if conflict ever reignites.

Magnitude 4.6 earthquake shakes Seattle area
CBS News reports that the natural disaster was the largest in the Seattle area since a 6.1 quake in February 2001. The natural disaster happened at 2:51 a.m. local time in Three Lakes, Wa.

The de facto boss of Samsung Group, which consists of its crown jewel Samsung Electronics, left for Japan on Sunday and will reportedly begin meetings with business leaders there to discuss the issue.

In addition, the documents also showed a Japanese company selling three devices to stabilize electric power supply to North Korea through Thailand in April 2003 despite receiving a notice from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that exports of such items to the North required authorization since they could be employed to enable Pyongyang's nuclear program.

A former Japanese ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, questioned the need for US mediation.

But Japan's Ambassador rejected the claims. "Canada relations", Fujisaki told Reuters on Wednesday.

South Korean media cited multiple government sources.as saying the US has been looking to expand the UNC's role in the region, . using troops and equipment from UNC's rear base in Japan.

It is the latest development in a spat over South Korean court rulings requiring Japanese firms to compensate victims of a wartime forced labour policy.

New U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell arrived in Japan on Thursday on the first stop of a 10-day visit to Asia.

South Korea's trade ministry acknowledged Wednesday that from 2015 to March 2019 the government detected 156 cases of unauthorized exports of sensitive materials that could be used for military purposes.

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