Japan is back on South Korea 's “white list” of trusted trading partners
The two nations lift restrictions after nearly four years.
Japan and South Korea have been uneasy neighbours for most of their respective histories. In September 2019, relations between the two nations were strained when Korea’s Supreme Court ruled that Japanese companies should compensate Korean forced labourers during World War II.
In the ensuing row, South Korea removed from Japan its white list of trading partners. Countries on the list get access to simplified procedures for purchasing sensitive goods that could be diverted for military use.
Now, the two countries have put aside their differences, and Japan is back on the 28 country list. South Korea's trade ministry said there is a "complete recovery of trust between the two countries in export control", and pledged to work on further bilateral and multilateral export control issues.
The move came after Korean President's recent talks with the Japanese Prime Minister. After the summit, Japan lifted restrictions on exports of key semiconductor materials to Korea, including fluorine polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride. Korea in turn withdrew its complaint filed with the World Trade Organization against the export curbs.
Japan is now expected to reinstate Korea to its list of preferred countries for export screening of strategic materials.