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Tokyo unveils detailed public opinion data on removal of Seoul from whitelist

Industry 14:04 September 10, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- Japanese companies and individuals are overwhelmingly supportive of their country's measures to delist South Korea from the country's list of trusted trade partners, a report showed Tuesday.

In an online report, the Japanese government said it has gathered more than 40,000 emails from the public on the removal of Seoul from the so-called whitelist, with more than 95 percent being supportive of the measure.

Tokyo implemented curbs on exports of three key industrial materials to Seoul in early July. Despite strong protest from South Korea, Japan officially stripped Asia's No. 4 economy from its list of nations given preferential trading terms on Aug. 28.

Among the opinions gathered, some claimed that the export restrictions are necessary to protect Japan's national security, raising questions over South Korea's export control system.

Others raised speculation that South Korea could shift equipments to North Korea, calling for Japan to roll out tougher measures on materials that can be diverted for military purposes, the report showed.

South Korea has repeatedly claimed that Japan's allegations over its export control system are groundless and urged Tokyo to provide evidences backing its allegations.

Seoul believes Tokyo's unpredicted economic retaliation stemmed from a Seoul court ruling from last year, which ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule.

In a tit-for-tat move, South Korea said last month it will revamp its own list of trusted trade partners, under which Japan will be delisted.

South Korea also completed gathering public opinion on its new trade policy, which is set to be officially implemented as early as next week.

Tokyo unveils detailed public opinion data on removal of Seoul from whitelist - 1

colin@yna.co.kr
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