Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Japan sees drop in TiVA trade surplus with South Korea

Japan sees drop in TiVA trade surplus with South Korea

South Korea's Supreme Court previous year ordered the Japanese company to compensate 10 forced labor victims, drawing a strong rebuke from Japan, which believes the matter was settled under a 1965 treaty.

In light of the interconnection of the global value chain, the country's recent curbs on hi-tech exports to South Korea are likely to affect not only the two countries but also the regional and global economy in general, Seoul's government officials noted.

Lawyers and supporters of the Koreans who were forced to work for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries during Japan's 1910-45 occupation of Korea said in a joint statement Tuesday they'll soon ask a South Korean court to authorize the sales of some assets that South Korea has seized from Mitsubishi.

The NIS said that, despite South Korea's sharing of related information, Japan is allowing repeated entries and departures of three suspected vessels, citing Tokyo's lack of a domestic legal foundation to deal with such cases.

The lawyers said they would file court papers seeking the sale of Mitsubishi's assets, as it had failed to respond by a Monday deadline to requests for discussions on the case. The sign reads "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries should compensate and apologize to victims of forced labor".

"Seoul says the trade restriction is political retaliation for the wartime labor issue, but Tokyo denies that, saying the measure merely puts an end to preferential treatment, and is therefore not a sanction".

Seko said he did not expect Japanese companies to be harmed by the tighter export controls.

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South Korea says the export controls violate World Trade Organization rules - Japan disagrees.

Japanese government officials have said there has been a "significant loss of trust" with South Korea - adding that sensitive materials that could be used in weapons have not been properly handled in the past.

Last week, its presidential office proposed an investigation by the United Nations Security Council or another worldwide body to look into the export controls of both South Korea and Japan as it continues to reject Japanese claims that the South can not be trusted to faithfully implement sanctions against North Korea. "The Japanese measures by their nature do not require checks by worldwide organizations".

But on Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono warned Tokyo might take further action if South Korea pushes harder on the issues related to historical issues.

He instructed Reuters the two sides had mentioned what they might disclose however that there was no settlement.

In regard to the aftermath in the future, Chung said, "Japan is highly unlikely to completely ban exports of these materials to South Korea". Companies say in their IR that they have six weeks worth of the inventory of complete semiconductor products but they actually have little more than that.

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