Trump says he is ready to help resolve S Korea-Japan dispute
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jul 22, 2019,
Jul 22, 2019, 0:44
Tensions escalated Friday as a South Korean man in his 70s died after setting himself on fire outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, and Japanese foreign minister summoned the South Korean ambassador in Tokyo over the dispute.
Last week, South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki told lawmakers that the government is bracing for Japan's plan to remove Seoul from the list.
Export restrictions were imposed after the top court in South Korea said that citizens have the righit to sue Japanese companies for the forced labor used during World War II.
"We hope that the Japanese government would withdraw its unilateral pressure, including the export restrictions of retaliatory character, and return to the stage of diplomatic resolutions", Seoul's ministry said in the statement.
In the wake of a withering trade relationship with Japan, which had recently banned sensitive tech exports to South Korea, triggering risks of disrupting global smartphone supply chains, South Korean businesses had been dumping wide-ranging Japanese goods, as the trade row between the noisy neighbors had worsened over the past week.
South Korea is sparing no efforts to persuade the worldwide community this week to help press Japan withdraw its export restrictions on high-tech materials and impugn Tokyo's reasoning behind its retaliatory measures.
South Korea's public broadcaster KBS said in its 9 o'clock news program on Sunday night that NHK's exit polls indicate the governing parties are certain to secure a majority in the chamber.
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While Japan believes all compensation issues had been settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized relations, the Korean court ruled that individuals had the right to seek reparations beyond the state-to-state accord.
Nevertheless, Japan has denied this, arguing that the controls are mandatory for national security.
In its complaint, the Korean government is likely to quote articles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - which are still in effect under the WTO framework - to counter Japan's moves to exclude it from the whitelist and its restrictions on key tech materials.
The accident occured at around 3:24 a.m. Friday.
Police declined to comment, saying they were investigating.
US President Donald Trump (left) says he's here for "very special guy" Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) and for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, whom he also likes.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics has sent letters to partners urging them to stockpile more Japanese components in case Tokyo widens its export curbs.