SEOUL – South Korea will probably announce its decision to officially exclude Japan from its whitelist of trusted export destinations as early as this week, the Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.
Should the measures be implemented, Japan will be removed from the group of 29 member states of the export control regime that also includes the U.S. and will be subject to stricter export conditions, the report said, citing South Korea’s trade ministry.
The new group that Japan will be enrolled in includes countries that are still part of the export control regime, but have operated against ground rules or constantly adopted inadequate policies, Yonhap said, citing the ministry.
The move comes after Japan removed South Korea from its own list of preferred trading partners last month. Relations between Seoul and Tokyo have sunk to their lowest point in decades following a series of disputes, mostly rooted in unresolved rancor over Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government on Wednesday said it filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against Japan’s export curbs.
South Korea has notified Japan about the amendments and explained the background of the revisions through various routes, the trade ministry said. It is also open to talks “anytime, anywhere” if Japan is willing, it said.