SEJONG, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister said Monday the government will expand support to local display makers in its latest effort to beef up the competitiveness of local high-tech sectors amid a growing trade row with Japan.
Hong Nam-ki, minister of economy and finance, met representatives from local display firms including Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. earlier in the day.
"The government is making efforts to minimize short-term damage to local firms from Japan's export restriction, and is also seeking to find fundamental solutions to bolster the country's competitiveness in the local materials, parts and equipment segments," Hong said.
Hong's remark came amid fears that display shipments, South Korea's seventh-largest export item, will be hit hard by Japan's latest economic retaliation against Seoul.
Hong urged local display makers to expand their own investment, vowing to provide them with necessary tax incentives and funds as well.
Tokyo began implementing tougher restrictions on South Korea-bound shipments of three key materials vital for the production of semiconductors and displays last month, in an apparent economic retaliation against a Seoul court's rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims for their wartime forced labor.
Since Tokyo's announcement of export curbs, Seoul has been rolling out a series of policies to cut its economic dependency on Japan by bolstering the competitiveness of its own industries, particularly in the materials and parts segments.
Seoul-Tokyo ties tipped for deeper rift after Japan's expanded export control: experts
Trade row with Japan, another headwind for Korean economy
Japan hides true intentions, leaving export curbs unjustified
Boycott of Japanese goods to intensify as Tokyo expands export curbs
Japan's broader export curbs aim for S. Korea's Achilles heel