The South Korean government on Wednesday filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Japan's tightening of export controls, which has further chilled the countries' increasingly frosty relationship.

In July, Japan imposed tougher rules on three key materials needed by South Korean companies to produce semiconductors and display panels, citing undermined trust between the countries and issues with South Korea's export control and regulation.

Seoul has alleged the measure is economic retaliation for South Korean Supreme Court judgments last year that ruled against Japanese companies over wartime forced labor.