A South Korean school student kicks a plastic plate showing a Japanese flag during a rally to denounce Japan's trade restrictions on South Korea in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on Thursday, Photo: AP/Ahn Young-joon
politics

Japan OKs first S Korea high-tech export since curbs, but with a warning

66 Comments
By Hyunjoo Jin and Makiko Yamazaki

Japan has approved shipment of a high-tech material to South Korea for the first time since imposing export curbs last month, but doubled down on political pressure and warned it could broaden restrictions on deliveries to its Asian neighbor.

The approval and subsequent warning illustrate how Tokyo is ready to up the ante in the diplomatic row and yet unwilling to fully cut off exports to South Korea.

The dispute, rooted in their wartime past and exacerbated by the recent tightening of curbs on shipments of three high-tech components, has stoked nationalism and raised trade concerns.

Relations between the two U.S. allies worsened late last year as part of a decades-old dispute over compensation for forced laborers during Japan's occupation. South Korea has invoked its difficult history with Japan, which colonized the Korean peninsula during World War Two.

"Usually, we don't announce each time we give export permission. However, the South Korean government has referred to our moves as an embargo on exports, which is unfair criticism," Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told a briefing.

It is the first time since the export curbs were introduced last month that Japan has allowed shipment of one of the three high-tech materials, he said.

He was quick to add Tokyo would expand the curbs beyond the three specialized chemicals - fluorinated polyimides, photoresists and hydrogen fluoride - if there were any cases of"improper" use. Some of the chemicals, which are used to make smartphone displays and chips, can also be used in weapons.

Japanese officials have cited unspecified security reasons for their export curbs.

But they have pointed to an erosion of trust after South Korean court rulings last year ordered Japanese firms to compensate wartime forced laborers. Tokyo says the matter was settled by a 1965 treaty normalizing bilateral ties.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that tighter curbs would undermine Japan's international credibility and accused Tokyo of using its industrial advantage as a weapon against another country.

"Even if there are any gains, it will be short-lived. In the end it is a game without winners, where everyone, including Japan itself, becomes a victim," Moon said.

WHITE LIST

The high-tech material that has been just cleared by Japan for export is EUV photoresists, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said. The chemical is crucial for Samsung's advanced contract chipmaking production.

Samsung declined to comment.

But it remains unclear if this approval from Tokyo signals a breakthrough in trade relations.

"They approved only one out of a number of items," a South Korean senior trade ministry official pointed out.

A presidential official said: "It doesn't mean that uncertainties have been completely removed for the other items."

Japan has removed South Korea from the "white list" of countries with fast-track trade status, meaning some exporters may have to go through a lengthy permit application process to ship restricted items to South Korea.

That covers a broad range of items, including those applicable to weapons production and machine tools.

South Korea, which was scheduled to take a call on a plan to drop Japan from its "white list" on Thursday, has, however, put off the decision until further discussions.

But the country has said it plans to tighten regulations on imported coal ashes, mostly from Japan, used to produce cement, and has proposed tax benefits for local firms in case they need to buy foreign chemical as Seoul tries to cut reliance on Japan.

The curbs have also prompted concern among corporate Japan.

"This situation benefits neither Japan nor South Korea," Masashi Oka, senior executive vice president at Nikon, told a recent briefing. "We strongly hope that both countries can return to normal economic activity as soon as possible."

Given the curbs in place, Japan's approval to export the three materials could take up to 90 days, slowing shipments.

The export curbs highlight how Japan controls a vital link in the global supply chain. It remains a major player in specialized chip components, even though it was overtaken as a chipmaker years ago by South Korea.

At a New York event for a new flagship phone launch, the head of Samsung's mobile division told reporters he could not rule out a potential impact on the supply chain for smartphone production if the curbs dragged on for more than four months.

Shares of Tokyo Ohka Kogyo rose 3.9% and Stella Chemifa surged 10.1% after the latest export approval. Tokyo Ohka Kogyo makes photoresists and Stella Chemifa produces hydrogen fluoride, both materials affected by the export curbs.

South Korean chipmakers are hitting a dead end in their quest to find alternatives for key Japanese materials that have been slapped with restrictions, raising the prospect of major disruption to their operations in coming months.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

66 Comments
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That picture is just pathetic. Using teenagers to feed racist propaganda. Despicable. The people who set this up should be slapped in the face.

34 ( +42 / -8 )

This is what brainwashing education does to children. The most of alive Koreans today are raised and educated this way, there are noone to stop this nonsense so what do you expect?

25 ( +33 / -8 )

The picture is just fantastic!!!!!   How feeble minded do you think the folks who organized this must be??

12 ( +20 / -8 )

A South Korean school student kicks a plastic plate showing a Japanese flag

Can you imagine the uproar if Japanese students kicked the South Korean flag?

28 ( +35 / -7 )

Japan and Korea - the narcissism of small differences.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

What a sad and disrespectful photo is that.

It really makes me lose hope in good sense,these kids were born way after the war and they take it so personally?

Didn’t they learn that every national flag is sacred?

In countries like Thailand such actions are punishable by prison.

With these actions if the koreans had a slight right to protest against Japan now they lost everything.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Japan and Korea - the narcissism of small differences.

Bingo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0BpfwazhUA

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

And in front of the statue of the comfort women as well.

Using those among us who know the least of why they are doing what they are doing is brainwashing the next generations of children to "hate" without them knowing why, other than they being told to do so!

A vicious never ending circle!

26 ( +29 / -3 )

Kick is off balance, just like all the idiots wasting their days/nights protesting on the streets of Seoul.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

What's this article about again?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What a scummy stunt! I've never gone to S. Korea and don't plan to ever go in the future.

Kick is off balance,

Yep; leaning back, hitting with the toes. Couldn't knock out a fly with a kick like that.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

This picture says it all. Teaching children to hate. Congrats, Korea.

21 ( +30 / -9 )

So many sensitive souls offended by kicking a flag. Was anyone hurt?

-26 ( +12 / -38 )

Yes, Heckleberry. Korean children are hurt.

21 ( +29 / -8 )

@heckleberry

teaching kids to hate a whole country. You have no problem with that?

smh

23 ( +29 / -6 )

teaching kids to hate a whole country. You have no problem with that?

They are protesting against Japan's thinly veiled efforts to disrupt SK's economy. They are being taught that for too long they've been buying up Japanese goods of every kind building up a huge trade deficit and propping up Japan's tourism industry, whilst the Japanese government has repeatedly denied its past wrongs, including the Abe the PM himself.

-35 ( +9 / -44 )

The cultural level is surprisingly low.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Nippon just blinked and all that most are focussing on (as expected) is the image which is selected to drum up the hatred for Korea as a whole. Well it's too little too late. Korean industries have moved on. Good luck moving that excess product now.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

You have a good point Wallace.

This can also be what the propaganda want to show us here,after all I remember not to long ago when the Uyoku boys used to burn korea flags in the streets of Tokyo.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Wallace Fred Today  06:29 pm JST

That's pretty "optimistic". The measure was designed from the start to allow such proportional measures to be taken. Why do you think the Japanese would blink? Did Korea do anything unexpected? They've been suffering from Korean extremism for decades and I just don't see them imagining Korea would fold immediately.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Nippon just blinked and all that most are focussing on (as expected) is the image which is selected to drum up the hatred for Korea as a whole. Well it's too little too late. Korean industries have moved on. Good luck moving that excess product now.

Well said. Lots of JT posters expressing outrage over a SK protester kicking a piece of cloth, whilst the other story about a Japanese who threatened mass murder in an art museum (alluding to the recent anime studio fire) is eerily quiet.

Samsung is expected to be fully independent of Japanese raw materials before the year is out, and small Japanese towns are feeling the effect of reduced tourist numbers from SK, and Japanese municipalities that depend on tourism are begging Korean airlines not to reduce flight numbers.

http://www.donga.com/en/article/all/20190807/1810739/1/Japanese-municipalities-ask-Korean-airliners-to-maintain-routes

Going forward, SK is looking at all the different ways in which it relies on Japan for its industries, and will one by one reduce their reliance with the goal of total independence. This is similar to northern European nations who gradually reduced reliance on petroleum derived fuels following the 1973 oil crisis.

This will be an own goal of massive proportions for Japan, with effects to be felt for a decade or more. Abe has already hurt Japan with his move, and it will cost Japan billions of Yen over years to come.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

after all I remember not to long ago when the Uyoku boys used to burn korea flags in the streets of Tokyo.

@William77 - someone remembers. I remember most people just didn't want to know about them. Double standards.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

@Heckleberry Today 06:43 pm JST

Samsung is expected to be fully independent of Japanese raw materials before the year is out

Well, I hope they don't get too fleeced by China and Russia and all those subs they are bringing in. Once those guys get their teeth in, Samsung would never escape. At least Japan doesn't ask you to infringe your own sovereignty and refrain from actions clearly within your rights (read: THAAD).

But then, Koreans have historically been Chinese lackeys. They may just be returning to that state. It'll suck for the Koreans, but they've proven they can't be independent so maybe that is their lot in life.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

HeckleberryToday  06:49 pm JST

Actually, I personally find that picture up there rather amusing. My first post on this thread was supposed to be a parody of what the Chinese would say in a similar situation (a certain number of PRC flags have been destroyed recently in HK, and they are not amused). I just wish they are actually fighting for democracy or anti-extradition (to China), not the right to ignore international law.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Lots of JT posters expressing outrage over a SK protester kicking a piece of cloth,

I see a child. And I see a flag. Are we looking at the same picture? I don't really care that much about flags, so have at it if you want. I do care about children being abused, and this is a form of child abuse. They are handicapping these kids with hate. "Protestor" you say? They are kids. And those adults should feel ashamed.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

I am a Japanese and studying in Seoul. Korean people think Japanese people are nice but Japanese government is sucks. Why?

How many people were killed by Japan in Asia during the world war including Korea? ; Japanese government is still hiding the facts and teaching a wrong history their kids - So this picture shows much honest victims' feeling than japanese government.

I feel embarrassed about my government. Now they are creating a fake things related to Fukushima radiation.

Wars and Nuclear radiation can kill a lot of innocent people and hope my government realise ASAPwhat they are doing wrong to avoid this trouble.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

In this global age if you cannot be good with your neighbor how to diplomate further afield?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My trips to Japan left a bad impression with me. The hatred of Japan and its peoples is very strong. So to me, the young man is not kicking a flag but the Japanese people.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

"Usually, we don't announce each time we give export permission. However, the South Korean government has referred to our moves as an embargo on exports, which is unfair criticism,"

Except that it is EXACTLY an embargo on exports -- one that Japan failed to provide the proof to justify the "security threat" they suddenly made up when SKoreans who suffered slave labor and sexual slavery demanded more out of the Japanese companies and government that had enslaved them. They were caught in that lie, and so now they announce to the world that they are allowing AN import. If they hadn't been lying, they would stick to their guns. Now let me guess what the conditions are for Japan to do more importing: "Koreans be quiet and stop bringing up our war crimes!"

YuriOtani: "My trips to Japan left a bad impression with me."

Freudian slip, I see. Well, Japan will do that to you, as will any country, when you espouse the extreme bias that often comes with your posts.

"The hatred of Japan and its peoples is very strong."

In Japan? How so? Is it because some people here will do anything and everything to lie about the past that they actually do more harm to their nation than good?

"So to me, the young man is not kicking a flag but the Japanese people."

Well, that only speaks to insecurity. If you were able to accept and admit to Japan's past, you would realize you yourself had nothing to do with it, and are above it, instead of feeling shame and that it is YOU being kicked. I think a lot of people who deny the atrocities of Japan feel the same thing as you do here.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

I've seen youtubes S Korean schools taught students hatred of Japan by drawing pictures in class.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Except that it is EXACTLY an embargo on exports

Kindly provide a link to a definition of embargo for those whose first language is not English. And then explain how requiring documentation for trade is an embargo. Any definition you can find. Take your time.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Good, the problem is solved.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

This is the difference between the anti-Japan crowd and people like myself. If I see a Japanese person burn a South Korean flag, or make a threat toward a comfort woman display, I'm going to criticize that. I'm not going to justify it by saying, but what about South Koreans who burn Japanese flags. BOTH are stupid.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

South Korea is such a pitiful country, even the North isn't that pitiful.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Except that it is EXACTLY an embargo on exports -- one that Japan failed to provide the proof to justify the "security threat"

Well...it seems to me SmithinJapan have not seen recently news from JT otherwise he would say such thing.

Just a little hint: 156 cases - Minister of South Korea.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Again,national flags must be respected,because they retain the identity of a community.

Even the enemy's flag deserve respect.

Furthermore I have no idea what do they think to achieve in doing such stupid things.

The South Korean government if want to improve the relationship with Japan should take harsh instances with such kind of idiotic manifestations.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"Usually, we don't announce each time we give export permission. However, the South Korean government has referred to our moves as an embargo on exports, which is unfair criticism," Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told a briefing.

It is true. Japan never announces such thing. If South Korea were mature, she would understand that being part of so called white list country is a privilege and not a right.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Everything is going to be fine. The sky is not falling. Japan has left a lot rooms and holes for the export. Moon and Abe will talk. Historical problem will be resolved. Japan is not going to sink, anytime soon. Even it does, some day, Japanese will have mainland as their homes.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

When the shipments arrive from Korea, the immigration officials should be like, "We changed our minds. No imports accepted." lolz

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Kid needs to learn how to kick!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A great part of today's problems are due to Japanese culture of not speaking up and drawing a line clearly enough, and presenting its position internationally - based on fact and evidence - strongly enough.

Based on which version of fact and evidence?

Japan can't even come up with consistent stories, for example, regarding the radar spat and the removal of South Korea from the so-called 'white list'. No wonder you have people here posting inconsistent stories because they can't keep up with the different versions of their government's stories.

BTW, Kono presented his position regarding the downgrading of Korea to the ASEAN regional forum and was ridiculed by his Singapore and Chinese counterparts. Don't take it for granted that Japan's position is respected internationally. Its credibility is going downhill along with Japan Inc.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Wow, love the picture.

There is nothing like justifying hate and racism by using the kids, amirite?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Poor Abe ... The interest of commenters here seem to move on to the issues of "kicking" and "children", rather than to Abe's and his imperialists' big-heartedness ...

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

This is factually wrong

Im sorry. Are you actually comparing victim sizes perpetrated by the fascist regimes? Isn't one too many?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

If you put this picture next to a pro trump rally you can see the same similarities of hate and racism being used for political means

also bonus points for using the kids

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why is being called an "embargo?" The southern Koreans will still be able to buy the products. They are just going to have to do more paperwork like disclosing the end use of those products.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Wallace Fred

Korean industries have moved on. Good luck moving that excess product now.

It helps if you actually read the article. You might have seen this tidbit at the very end.

South Korean chipmakers are hitting a dead end in their quest to find alternatives for key Japanese materials that have been slapped with restrictions, raising the prospect of major disruption to their operations in coming months.

What was that about moving on?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

My wife works for an airline. Her non-Asian colleagues get to travel a lot, for a good price. After all of their travels, they routinely tell her that Japan is the best country in Asia and that all others fall far lower on the list of places they'd like to visit again, if ever. Also, they comment on how polite and easy going the Japanese are compared to any other Asian travellers. People just love Japan, and I think the other Asian countries realize that and feel inferior to them. I just find it funny.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Korea supporters

We keep seeing this type of pictures from your youth. Letter cards send by small children to tell Japanese kids Takeshima is Korean, Abe is bad, No Japan signs.

If it bothers you that people point to them then how about you keep the children at home. You are spreading your hate towards a new generation of children.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So, Japan is ‘warning’ Korea again?

Maybe the Koreans have had enough ‘warnings’ from Japan.

And what posters here don’t realize is that Japanese politicians continue to deny atrocities or suggest that being in service to soldiers of the Imperial army was a voluntary choice.

Well, the cruelty of that military has been well documented and has not been forgotten by others as it has been by the elite in Japan.

The powers that be always focus on the Japanese as victims not aggressors.

When there are monuments commemorating the victims of Japanese war time aggression as there are in Germany, then we might see some real reflection and proof that there is a desire to change things!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

They are protesting against Japan's thinly veiled efforts to disrupt SK's economy. 

Children? You have got to be kidding!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hilarious to read people disparaging South Korea for brainwashing its children. You all clearly haven't read Japanese textbooks.

One country's education is another country's brainwashing.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Anyone know why Germany doesn't have lingering issues from its rape of Europe unlike Japan does from its rape of Asia?

Getmsny took full responsibility for its repugnant actions in both words and deeds. Japan, however, pays lips service to accepting responsibility and then politicians go and pray to Tojo and his other war crime buddies and authorize textbooks that paint Kapan as the victim in WWII.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Hilarious to read people disparaging South Korea for brainwashing its children. You all clearly haven't read Japanese textbooks.

Except that there's a big difference between glossing over history and teaching your children to openly hate people in another country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

glossing over history 

Is that what historical revisionism and denialism is called these days?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yeah, kicking the Japanese flag could be seen as over the line by some people. That Korean boy should have just done what Japanese protesters do to Korean flags --drawing cockroaches on it and walking all over it.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

slowguy2Today  08:43 am JST

Yeah, kicking the Japanese flag could be seen as over the line by some people. That Korean boy should have just done what Japanese protesters do to Korean flags --drawing cockroaches on it and walking all over it.

They have been doing all of those already since they were even younger

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is that what historical revisionism and denialism is called these days?

Oh lord. Sorry I didn't use your approved term... Even when someone isn't arguing with you, you have to argue. Smooth.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

William77,

What a sad and disrespectful photo is that. ...

Japanese imperialists must stop using children for imperialist political reasons at least!

You know already that it was till just two years ago that Japan has been instilling nationalism and militarism in its 3 to 5-year-old pupils. Do you think it is right to use a photo of children that is not directly relevant to the title and content of news article for political reasons again now, especially if for a so selfish and dirty purpose to excite Abe government's followers?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

HeckleberryAug. 8  06:43 pm JST

Going forward, SK is looking at all the different ways in which it relies on Japan for its industries, and will one by one reduce their reliance with the goal of total independence.

Oh really? Japan is doing exactly the same thing. Do you honestly think Japan is just standing there wringling its hands while SOuth Koreas 'goes all independent'? What a laugh if so!

This will be an own goal of massive proportions for Japan, with effects to be felt for a decade or more. Abe has already hurt Japan with his move, and it will cost Japan billions of Yen over years to come.

Japan has thought of every single outcome before coming to the conclusion of downgrading South Korea, especially what the loss will be (if any) in the long term. That you think none of this calculation was done for MONTHS before Japan actually made the decision is extremely naive, and actually looks like you are projecting South Korea's knee-jerk anti-Japan protests onto Japan's decision making process.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Except that there's a big difference between glossing over history and teaching your children to openly hatepeople in another country.

Agreed. Show me the Korean textbooks that are teaching school children to hate Japanese people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Poor imperialist followers … You may be able to manipulate people’s opinions sometimes but cannot hide the factual truth forever. Just hope you can learn what is more important to you as an 'individual human being' and not just an 'animal' sometime in future. Thanks a lot!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chip StarToday  03:00 pm JST

Except that there's a big difference between glossing over history and teaching your children to openly hatepeople in another country.

Agreed. Show me the Korean textbooks that are teaching school children to hate Japanese people.

It doesn't have to be textbooks to know what's going on in the kids class.

You can click each one of them. I know you can read Japanese.

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SNJC_jaJP703JP703&biw=1920&bih=937&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=UT9NXc6EMs2h-Qa5gZbgCQ&q=%E9%9F%93%E5%9B%BD+%E3%80%80%E5%B0%8F%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F%E3%80%80%E5%8F%8D%E6%97%A5%E6%95%99%E8%82%B2&oq=%E9%9F%93%E5%9B%BD+%E3%80%80%E5%B0%8F%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F%E3%80%80%E5%8F%8D%E6%97%A5%E6%95%99%E8%82%B2&gs_l=img.3...5222.10200..12308...0.0..0.105.1275.13j1......0....1..gws-wiz-img.DfYcj2sfOCU&ved=&uact=5

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which countries today teach kids to hate other countries and their people during compulsory level of education?

Oh Yes, they don't teach how to hate, exactly speaking, but simply stuff fake horror stories into the brains of kids. Korean grudge "恨み” must survive for 1000 years down to younger generations .

" Don't forget "

" Don't let them repeat"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed. Show me the Korean textbooks that are teaching school children to hate Japanese people.

I never said anything about textbooks. The picture accompanying this article is all you need to see how they are indoctrinating their children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Koreans get angry by misunderstanding.

It has not progressed for over 100 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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