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Japan Lifts Export Controls on Key Materials, South Korea Withdraws WTO Complaint

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)have agreed to lift export control measures on hydrogen fluoride, fluorinated polyimides, and photoresists following a three-day policy dialogue.

These materials are critical to the semiconductor and display industries.

During the dialogue, both countries discussed the effectiveness of export controls, including the system of export control authorities, system operation, and follow-up management.

Japan agreed to change its export control operation and return to the unique, comprehensive license system as before July 2019.

Under this system, comprehensive export licenses are issued for specific destinations and combinations of items based on the sensitivity of the cargo and technology.

In response to the changes in Japan’s export control operating regulations, the South Korean government has withdrawn its World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint against Japan’s measures on the three items.

Both countries will continue to discuss each other’s “country category” (whitelist) measures to ensure they are reinstated as soon as possible.

Resolving this export control issue is essential to normalizing trade relations between the two nations.

It is expected to positively impact their respective economies and the global semiconductor industry.

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