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Senior diplomats to make case against Japan's export curbs ahead of G7 summit

Diplomacy 13:42 August 14, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- Two senior South Korean diplomats have left for Europe to highlight the unreasonable nature of Tokyo's recent export restrictions against Seoul ahead of the Group of Seven summit slated to take place in France later this month.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu plans to visit Italy and Germany for talks with his counterparts, while Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon will travel to France and Britain, according to the foreign ministry here.

Their trips precede the G7 summit set for Aug. 24-26, which Japan is likely to use to justify its recent export control measures. South Korea is not part of the group of seven industrialized countries.

Earlier this month, Japan removed South Korea from a list of favored trade partners in a step that Seoul sees as political retaliation for last year's Supreme Court rulings against Japanese firms over wartime forced labor.

The removal came after Tokyo's imposition last month of tighter restrictions on exports to South Korea of three industrial materials key to the production of semiconductors and displays.

Seoul has been stepping up diplomacy to drum up international support against Tokyo's export control measures, saying that they run counter to the principles of free trade that Japan itself has long championed and benefited from.


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