Daily Management Review

Warning To Japan Of Not To Drop It From Its 'White List' On Trade Issued By South Korea


Warning To Japan Of Not To Drop It From Its 'White List' On Trade Issued By South Korea
South Korea would be forced to review and rethink its military cooperation with Japan, both key allies of the United States in Asia, if Tokyo ultimately implements its plans to remove Seoul from its "white list" of trusted trade partners, South Korea said in a warning to Japan.
A decades-long quarrel over Japanese forced labor during World War II is the root cause of the current trade spat between the two countries. Last month, Japan put curbs on exporting of three materials to South Korea that are critical in the manufacturing of memory chips and displays. That has put a number of chip makers in South Korea such as Samsung under severe pressure of procurement of the raw materials.
Additionally, Japan has also announced that South Korea would be removed from its preferential trade status within this week. If Tokyo follows through on that announcement, it would mean that hundreds of key goods exported to the South Korea would be affected and there can also be a dent in the Japanese economy.
Japan was called on to revoke the plans by Seoul's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha during a meeting with her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on Thursday at a regional foreign ministers' meeting in Bangkok. "I made clear the grave consequences it would have on our bilateral relations if the measure was imposed," she told reporters.
any "white list" removal could jeopardize the issue of renewal of a military intelligence-sharing agreement between the countries, Kang warned. "I said that the security cooperation framework between South Korea and Japan may be affected," she added.
Japan intended to follow up on its announcement, Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday. "This policy remains unchanged and we will calmly proceed with the formalities," he told reporters.
Both South Korea and Japan are crucial military allies of the United States in the Asian region and key to the US achieving any kind of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and in taming North Korea.
The US will mediate in the trade spat of the two countries, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The diplomats of the three countries are scheduled to meet at the summit of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Bangkok. "We will encourage them to find a path forward," he said ahead of his trip.
Pompeo, who is proposing a rehashed Asia security strategy in Bangkok, is also slated to meet his Chinese counterpart at the summit and issues such as open seas, North Korea's nuclear arsenal and trade is expected to be discussed between them. China wield great economic and military power in Southeast Asia because it considers the region to be its neighbourhood.