August 28, 2019 10:39
Wednesday is the day of reckoning as Japan strikes Korea off a list of preferential trade partners as scheduled.
Japan's Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters Tuesday that Tokyo aims to carry out "appropriate export control measures" regardless of its effects on Japan's relations with Korea.
Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon only a day earlier said that Seoul could reconsider plans to scrap a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact if Tokyo cancels the "unjust" measures.
Korean importers now need to seek case-by-case approval each time they buy certain goods from Japan. With preferential trade partners, they only needed blanket approval every three years.
Emerging from the G7 Summit in France on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accused Korea of failing to respect a 1965 agreement that settled all claims of the victims of wartime atrocities in return for lump sum reparations. He added he will continue to ask Seoul to keep the "promise between countries."
A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We have to carry out corresponding measures we've prepared once Tokyo removes Korea from the trade 'whitelist.'"
He claimed the government has already worked out several scenarios to protect Korean companies. "Japan is launching economic retaliation against Korea in violation of World Trade Organization rules," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim In-chul said. "We demand that Tokyo withdraw its unjust measures."
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