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Pan-govt effort to deal with Japan’s trade move underway: Cheong Wa Dae

The government is working closely with the corporate community to respond to Japan’s trade regulations against South Korea, a top Cheong Wa Dae official said Friday.

“(Cheong Wa Dae) is listening to the voices of local companies and seeking solutions,” the official said on condition of anonymity, in response to criticism that measures such as taking the issue to the World Trade Organization would be insufficient in reducing the impact on local businesses. 

Cheong Wa Dae (Yonhap)
Cheong Wa Dae (Yonhap)

Japan has restricted exports of hi-tech materials, including fluorinated polyimides, that are essential for the production of semiconductors and display panels to Korea. The move has been widely interpreted as Japanese government’s retribution to a Korean court’s ruling that Japanese companies should compensate Koreans who worked for them for in the first half of 20th century.

“(Cheong Wa Dae’s contact with the corporate community) is not official, so details cannot be revealed, but actions are being taken,” the official said.

In a related move, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, and the new Presidential Chief of Staff for Policy Kim Sang-jo are reported to have met with executives of semiconductor makers including Samsung Electronics.

The presidential official also said that all concerned ministries are working on the issue. On the matter of possibly sending a special envoy to Japan, the official said it is too early to discuss such steps.

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