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Japanese Government Permitting Material Exports to Prepare for Arguments in WTO
Building a Case for Its Export Policy
Japanese Government Permitting Material Exports to Prepare for Arguments in WTO
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • October 1, 2019, 11:34
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South Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo (right in the front row) visits the Gumi Plant of Kolon Industries on Sept. 18.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan permitted exports of fluorine polyimide in mid-September for the first time since its display and semiconductor material export restrictions against South Korea.

The fluorine polyimide is scheduled to be used by one South Korean company and the import volume has not been disclosed. More recently, the Japanese government permitted an additional export of photoresist to South Korea last week.

The Japanese government initiated the restrictions in July this year, targeting the three materials of photoresist, hydrogen fluoride and fluorine polyimide. Since then, photoresist export to South Korea was permitted on Sep. 7 and Sep. 19 and hydrogen fluoride export to South Korea was permitted on Sep. 29.

In other words, the Japanese government has permitted the export of every item subject to the restrictions since the implementation. Experts point out that this is to get the upper hand in its arguments in the WTO. The Japanese government has claimed that the measure is for better export management and is not an export ban.


“The additional permits have to do with the Japanese government’s intention to avoid further conflicts as well as the arguments in the WTO,” one of them mentioned. The South Korean government excluded Japan from its list of trusted trade partners last month in response to the same measure taken earlier by the Japanese government. Still, the Japanese government has not strengthened its retaliation since then.