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S. Korea's key sectors unfazed by Japan's export curbs: minister

Industry 15:40 February 17, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Monday that its key industrial sectors suffered no disruptions over the past eight months after Japan imposed restrictions on exports to Seoul of three key industrial materials critical for chip and display industries.

"There was not a single disruption in the country's production (of affected goods) despite the abrupt export restrictions by Tokyo," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said during a policy report to President Moon Jae-in.

In July last year, Japan imposed restrictions on exports to Seoul of three key industrial materials critical for South Korea's chip and display industries, namely photoresist, etching gas and fluorinated polyimide.

S. Korea's key sectors unfazed by Japan's export curbs: minister - 1

Sung said the supply of the three materials will fully be normalized this year in line with its efforts to diversify their suppliers and develop homegrown technologies.

South Korea believes Japan's actions were politically motivated and came in response to the country's court rulings ordering Japanese firms to provide compensation for victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

In December, Tokyo partially lifted curbs on exports to South Korea of photoresist in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of their summit, which ended with no notable progress.

South Korea plans to allocate 2.1 trillion won (US$1.77 billion) this year to lend support to the competitiveness of the domestic material, parts and equipment industries.

In 2019, South Korea's overall exports to Japan slipped 6.9 percent to US$28.4 billion. Imports from the neighbor, on the other hand, fell by a wider margin of 12.9 percent to $47.5 billion, making Tokyo the bigger victim in the monthslong trade spat.

colin@yna.co.kr
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