Japan will relist South Korea as a preferred trade partner after a similar move by Seoul on Tokyo's trade status, the Japanese government said Friday in the latest sign of a thaw in bilateral relations.

South Korea's preferential status, bar a few exempted items, was revoked in 2019 for the purchase of a wide variety of products and technologies that could be diverted for military use, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The status will be restored once Japan completes the procedures of collecting public opinion on the revision of the export control ordinance and gets Cabinet approval, according to the ministry. The exact date of the relisting remains unknown.