U.S. Ambassador to Korea Harry Harris stressed on Aug. 20 that Korean companies should seek ways to cooperate with Japanese companies in order to resolve the ongoing conflict between Korea and Japan.
The U.S. envoy met with CEOs of Korea’s top 30 business groups at the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) building in Seoul one day before officials from Seoul and Tokyo hold talks to ease the tension between the two neighbors.
The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between Korea and Japan needs to be extended to bolster the alliance among Korea, the United States and Japan and enhance their security, Harris was quoted as saying.
The meeting was held by the FKI as Harris was unable to attend the Jeju Forum held on Jeju Island last month due to bad weather.
During the talks, Harris urged Korean entrepreneurs to move first to restore Korea-Japan relations.
“Harris said that a prompt resolution of the Korea-Japan trade dispute is important not only for the two countries’ economy and global supply chains but for the United States’ India-Pacific strategy and the Korea-U.S.-Japan security alliance,” said an official who attended the meeting.
In particular, Harris urged them to increase their contacts with Japanese companies to contribute to resolving the situation on behalf of the Korean government which has a serious confrontation with the Japanese government.
He also mentioned the need to extend GSOMIA for the Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance. Experts say that Harris expressed the U.S. government’s intention before the Japanese government’s export restrictions against Korea come into effect on Aug. 28 and the Korean government’s Aug. 24 decision on whether to extend GSOMIA.
On Aug. 19, the Japanese government approved one export application for photoresists which is one of the three semiconductor materials subject to the Japanese government’s export restrictions. The approval was the second one since the Japanese government announced the restrictions on July 4.