Minjung Party lawmaker Kim Jong-hoon said on July 9 that South Korea's borrowings from Japan totaled US$56.3 billion as of the end of 2018 according to the Bank for International Settlements.
As of that date, South Korea had a total external debt of US$310.2 billion, including US$83.3 billion to be repaid to the United States and US$80.3 billion to be repaid to Britain. South Korea has to repay US$107.1 billion within one year and US$11.4 billion must be paid back to Japan within one year.
When it comes to the borrowings from Japan, banks borrowed US$6.58 billion, while non-bank financial institutions, the public sector and the private sector borrowed US$8.76 billion, US$8.42 billion and US$32.51 billion, respectively. In other words, South Korean companies owe a lot of money to Japan. The borrowings from Japan rose from US$59.7 billion to US$61.7 billion in 2017 and decreased by approximately US$5.4 billion in 2018.
Earlier, Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku said that South Korea will remain safe even if Japan expands its economic retaliation to a financial retaliation because South Korea can borrow money from many other countries.
“The government needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario although South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves currently exceed US$400 billion,” the lawmaker pointed out, adding, “The Japanese government is likely to put more restrictions on South Korea after its restrictions on the export of display and semiconductor materials.”