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Government Failing to Deal with Japan’s Economic Retaliation on Its Own
No Solution Yet on Political and Diplomatic Side
Government Failing to Deal with Japan’s Economic Retaliation on Its Own
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • July 11, 2019, 08:40
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Entrepreneurs and economic organization leaders, including Korea Employers Federation Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik (third from the left), enter a conference room at Cheong Wa Dae for a meeting with President Moon Jae-in on July 10.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had an emergency meeting with business leaders on July 10 and said that their role is essential in dealing with Japan’s export restrictions against South Korea. Some experts point out that the remarks are inappropriate in that the restrictions were triggered by political and diplomatic factors.

The meeting was attended by the owners and CEOs of 30 largest business groups, each with total assets of more than 10 trillion won. Such a large meeting between the president and the conglomerates took place in about six months. Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong and Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin were absent due to their business trips to Japan.

The South Korean government has worked on countermeasures since the Japanese government announced the semiconductor and display material and component export restrictions on July 1. On July 7, Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki and Chief Secretary to the President for National Policy Kim Sang-jo met with entrepreneurs.

The government has yet to come up with a specific solution on the political and diplomatic side and an arbitration plan regarding the South Korean Supreme Court’s October 2018 ruling on compensation for wartime forced labor victims. “Despite our diplomatic efforts, we cannot rule out the possibility that the situation will last long,” the president said.