South Korea places Japan back on trade “white list” after three years

Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea on Monday placed Japan back on its “white list” of countries with fast-track trade status after more than three years.

Restoring its northeast Asian neighbour in the list will shorten the review period for “strategic items” that South Korea exports to Japan to five days from 15 days previously as simpler paperwork would be required, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a notice in Korean on its website.

South Korea in September 2019 removed Japan from the “white list” over disputes regarding compensation for South Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during World War II.

This was in response to Japan’s similar move in August 2019, after South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled in late 2018 that several Japanese firms must pay reparations to victims of forced labor and ordered the seizure of local Japanese assets of firms that did not compensate victims.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol had discussed trade relations with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo in March 2023.

Following the meeting, Japan on 16 March removed export restrictions on three industrial materials used for displays and chips – fluorine polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride – to South Korea.


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