The Hindu Business Line

South Korea to re­move Ja­pan from pre­ferred trade list

- South Korea · Japan · Tokyo · Seoul · Belarus · Belgium · Masahisa Satō

South Korea said on Mon­day that it has de­cided to re­move Ja­pan from a list of na­tions re­ceiv­ing pref­er­en­tial treat­ment in trade in a tit-for­tat move fol­low­ing Tokyo’s re­cent de­ci­sion to down­grade Seoul’s trade sta­tus amid a diplo­matic row.

It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear how South Korea’s tight­ened ex­port con­trols would im­pact bi­lat­eral trade. Seoul said that some South Korean com­pa­nies ex­port­ing to Ja­pan will re­ceive ex­cep­tions from case-by-case in­spec­tions that are nor­mally ap­plied on sen­si­tive ship­ments to na­tions with lower trade sta­tus and go through the same fast­track ap­proval process that they cur­rently en­joy.

Masahisa Sato, Ja­pan’s Vice Min­is­ter for for­eign af­fairs, said that the im­pact of Seoul’s move would likely be lim­ited as Ja­pan doesn’t im­port much sen­si­tive ma­te­ri­als from South Korea.

Ja­pan pro­vided sim­i­lar ex­cep­tions while re­mov­ing South Korea as a favoured trade part­ner, which eased some of the fears in Seoul about a pos­si­ble blow to its ex­port­de­pen­dent econ­omy, where many man­u­fac­tur­ers heav­ily rely on parts and ma­te­ri­als im­ported from Ja­pan.

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