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Japan's trade minister criticizes S Korea for 'mistaken' explanation after meeting

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“Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, saying it had broken an agreement on what the two sides would disclose from the Friday discussions on Japan’s curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tech equipment”

> ”...the officials had spent about an hour toward the end of the five-hour meeting to discuss and agree on what to disclose to media.”

What else is new?

Keep showing that you are untrustworthy S.Korea.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

@Hachidori

...the officials had spent about an hour toward the end of the five-hour meeting to discuss and agree on what to disclose to media

Perhaps there is a translation issue (I haven't read the Japanese source), but the English text says that they spent the time "(in order) to discuss and agree", suggesting that the time was spent for the purpose of discussing and agreeing, not necessarily that they did agree by the end.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Please understand the content of explanation of Japanese officials. It's not any restrictions. Ok?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

So SK says they requested the restrictions to be withdrawn, and Japan says SK didn't ask for this.

But why does this matter? Is it important enough to write an angry letter over?

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

@yoshi

Well, they're "restricted" from the fast-tracked process.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Ha ha, they aren't doing what we want....how dare they. What they are getting these metals from Russia? We have lost that market...face palm. Diplomacy at work.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Perhaps both parties should have openly recorded the meeting, then there could be no mistake. But I forget both cultures express things obliquely and use obscurantist terminology lest someone state something clearly.

Such may be acceptable where you are mutually aiming for a smooth unruffled relationship but where neither side trusts the other clarity of expression is required.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

So stupid on both sides, the problem is obvious but not to be spoken of.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

We all know a piece of shabby paper on white board clearly said " mere explanatory meeting".

It's not SK that defines it as an official consultation but WTO through it's formal process.

Japanese officials in cool-biz spent half an hour for it's explanation but Korean officials unfortunately did not have good knowledge yet on how export control should be implemented ( despite Japan helped them understand all those under Koizumi administration), and kept asking questions which made Japanese officials in COOL-BIZ spend 5 hours just to answer and correct Korean officials misconception

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I often wonder do they use translators in these meetings? I didn't see any translators in the previous picture. Both countries have a very high-context culture, and subtle messages can be difficult to translate. I can see how a miscommunication can easily occur. The Japanese side might have interpreted something the wrong way, same for the Korean side.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Strangely Im reminded of the Malcom in the middle theme song.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's no trust at all. South Korea is determined to try and make this a trade issue, while in reality it is a security issue. There are no sanctions or tariffs. The products in question can and will continue to be exported to South Korea. Just not expedited, which was a privilege Japan granted South Korea back in 2004. As with all privileges, they can be revoked. And South Korea has done nothing but to undermine the trust, cooperation and relationship with Japan on political, diplomatic and economic levels.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

@OssanAmerica

The relationship between the countries has certainly grown frosty, but the "national security" rationale seems very flimsy.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

It would be great if Japan and Sth. Korea could set aside past grievances and focus on mutually beneficial trade, cultural exchange, tourism, etc. They are both great countries with great people.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

AscissorToday  08:42 pm JST

@OssanAmerica

The relationship between the countries has certainly grown frosty, but the "national security" rationale seems very flimsy.

Nothing flimsy about it.

"South Korean ship detained for illegally trading with North, in violation of UN sanctions”

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3004452/south-korean-ship-detained-illegally-trading-north-violation-un

President Moon Jae-in plans to pitch his ambitious "sanctions easing" agenda when he meets U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House,  “

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/04/103_266754.html

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Concerned CitizenToday  08:53 pm JST

It would be great if Japan and Sth. Korea could set aside past grievances and focus on mutually beneficial trade, cultural exchange, tourism, etc. They are both great countries with great people.

South Korea started it. Japan had been willing to move on many times, but SK keeps bringing up issues that are resolved. Seko-Sensei and all the Abe Cabinet have handled this issue with unwavering strength and fairness.

They are both great countries with great people.

You mean Japan is a great country with great people.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

If you can’t negotiate in good faith then don’t come and try and make a request to Japan. The relationship is already tenuous. We said they said is not needed.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Amazing, no reference to "lingering bitterness over what South Koreans consider Japan's lack of proper remorse over comfort women and 1900-1945 colonial period."

Bravo!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This is obviously about far more than what Seko says, and his excuse is pretty lame. "We object to SK! They say we agreed... and we did NOT agree... we only discussed it!" Like it matters. The SK leader is right that Japan will suffer more if this goes on. Remember, Japan is not self-sufficient in food and other areas, and has very little natural resources (that is hasn't exploited to extinction or near-extinction).

Also, don't forget SK was the second biggest donator after the disasters of 3/11. When it happens again, maybe Japan will have to bow a little deeper next time if SK decides to help again, and that's IF.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Here it is in a nutshell:

Japan recently tightened restrictions on the export of three materials used in high-tech equipment, citing what it has called “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to South Korea, as well as a lack of consultations about export controls.

But the dispute also appears to be rooted in a decades-old wartime disagreement. It comes amid deep frustration in Japan over what Tokyo sees as Seoul’s failure to act in response to a South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to compensate former forced laborers from the Second World War.

Of course the second paragraph is at the heart of the problem. But Japan cannot use that as a trade issue. Thus you have the vague, sneaky wording found in the first paragraph. This is not going to end well for Japan.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

S. Korea needs to be sincere about the agreements they signed. Relations have been getting worse for several years and S. Korea has been ok with that. Moon became president on the promise of going back on agreements with Japan to settle historical issues.

S. Korea has failed to deliver the money paid in 1965 by Japan to cover such claims as force labor, comfort woman. Moon, do the right thing and pay the victims. It's pocket change especially now that your a rich country on the back of Japanese technology

7 ( +12 / -5 )

"Also, don't forget SK was the second biggest donator after the disasters of 3/11. When it happens again, maybe Japan will have to bow a little deeper next time if SK decides to help again, and that's IF."

Ummm not according to this website...simple search shows this to be false and theres more than one source saying this...

https://japantoday.com/category/national/u-s-tops-japan-earthquake-donor-list

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I hope the Japanese stock to their guns on this dispute. The Koreans need to get over their indignant rage and grow up.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

It would be great if Japan and Sth. Korea could set aside past grievances

What grievances does Japan need to set aside? What has Japan really done aside from not forcing every single Japanese person to sincerely apologize to every single South Korean for what one's grandparents did to the other's grandparents?

Korea is the one that keeps creating tension between the two countries. Korea is the is the one that needs to set aside their 70+ year old grievances.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-South-Korea-rift/Samsung-tests-non-Japan-materials-as-Asia-trade-war-deepens

Samsung tests non-Japan materials as Asia trade war deepens

Top chipmaker searches for new suppliers in China, Taiwan and at home

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer

JULY 17, 2019 02:03 JST

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics is testing hydrogen fluoride etching gas from companies outside Japan as Tokyo's tightened export controls risk cutting off the vital chipmaking material to South Korea manufacturers, a company source told Nikkei Tuesday.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Well, Samit, they have to try. Time will tell how successful they are. And if they are relying on say Chinese sources ... well, they must have learnt from bitter historical experience that their stability is entirely political. Displease the Chinese government and it won't be a matter of getting licences. Mysterious shipping difficulties will come that choke them.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

But Samit, I thought you said that SK had nothing to worry about? They could get their materials from anywhere. Why are they having to search for new suppliers...?

Moon needs to eat some humble pie but he would rather watch his own country burn.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

3 days ago, a former member of Korean parliament 鄭斗彦/ 정두언 was appealed "I'm opposed to the Boycott Japan action. It’s not time to raise anti-Japanese sentiment." and he found dead today. Official announcement said he killed himself. But, considering the too many suicides and suspicious death of Korean politicians, it's difficult for us to believe that.

https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20190716148700005

https://jp.yna.co.kr/view/AJP20190716003500882

Needless to say, the Moon administration has pushed forward their Anti-Japanese policy, and they passed a bill that saying "any remarks blessing Japan should be charged." Already some pro-Japan bloggers were arrested and their websites were regulated forcibly. Moon's Korea is such a country now. We should not respond to any complaints of them.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

S. Korean people's anger should be directed at their own government who failed to distribute the money paid by Japan in 1965.

The S. Korean government is 100% to blame for relations with Japan getting worse for the last several decades. Every time Japan gave S Korea what it wanted it backfire, they come back and want more. The apology it's not sincere. It never happened.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Time will tell how successful they are.

The stock price of the local vendor who supplied substitute purified Hydrogen Fluoride to Samsung jumped another 8% today, basically doubled from the day Japan announced the export control.

And if they are relying on say Chinese sources

Hydrogen Fluoride is like crude oil; you can get from anybody in raw form.

It is the difficulty of sourcing the "ultra-purified" form of Hydrogen Fluoride that led Abe san to the miscalculation that an export control could hit Koreans hard.

What Abe san didn't understand was that

1._Just because Japan has a 90% market share in the global market meant the Japanese vendor's market share was 90% in Korea; it was 40% before the export control.

2._Korean vendors also had comparable product; it is just that they cost more than Japanese vendors.

3._Japanese vendors were dead opposed to Abe san's plan, understanding they could easily be replaced by the Korean OEMs if they were forced to. Some are defying Abe san and pledged to do whatever it takes to keep Samsung and SK Hynix supplied from its overseas factories to keep their business.

@extanker

But Samit, I thought you said that SK had nothing to worry about?

Indeed, Korea has nothing to worry about. 

Why are they having to search for new suppliers...?

Duh, searching for new suppliers is the job of any company's procurement department...

@AlexBecu

S. Korean people's anger should be directed at their own government who failed to distribute the money paid by Japan in 1965.

Korean people understand that the 1965 treaty doesn't cover damages, and it is the damages that former forced laborers are seeking.

It is Japanese people who don't understand why the 1965 treaty doesn't protect Japanese firms from the damages lawsuit thanks to heavy handed press control by Japanese government. It is a heresy to report in Japan that the 1965 treaty left out the word "damages" due to Japanese denials, exposing Japanese firms to future damages lawsuits.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

South Korea should turn to China and Russia to buy these stuff. Who loses? It's Japan that will lose the market.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

#always looking for loopholes

They left out this word, they forgot to say this in the agreement. So now in 2019 we want more money and apologies over a loophole that we S. Koreans found and want to use against Japan.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@AlexBecu

#always looking for loopholes

They left out this word, they forgot to say this in the agreement.

Actually the Korean negotiators wanted to close that "damages" loophole in 1965; it was the Japanese negotiators who refused to include the word "damages" out of the Japanese sense of pride and honor(Japan did nothing wrong during its occupation of Korea, everything was legal blah blah blah), so the wording "damages" was left out of the 1965 treaty at Japanese insistence.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Also, don't forget SK was the second biggest donator after the disasters of 3/11. When it happens again, maybe Japan will have to bow a little deeper next time if SK decides to help again, and that's IF."

Ummm not according to this website...simple search shows this to be false and theres more than one source saying this...

Interesting that those out there who are loudest about Japan revising and whitewashing it's history, are the very same people doing the exact same thing.

South Korea was not even among the top 20 donors to Japan after 3/11. The U.S. was first, Taiwan second, and China fifth. Even the Philippines at #19 donated $290 million despite the deep poverty in that nation. What a supreme insult and joke the South Korean government was/is. Playing childish games when your neighbors suffer horrible natural disasters.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan already paid buddy. A lot of money too. Your government should have paid the people decades ago and this problem would have never happened. No supreme court ruling necessary if S. Korea did the right thing.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@AlexBecu

Japan already paid buddy. A lot of money too.

For backwages and bank savings, properties, yes.

For damages, nope. Not a single penny paid.

It's all in the 1965 treaty text.

This is why I don't understand why Abe san thinks he could prevail if the case went to the ICJ; the text of the 1965 treaty makes it clear; damages were not included in the scope of the 1965 treaty.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@showchinmono

"Damage" exist inclusive in 4th of clause 5 under list of 8 items SK demanded.

You quote me where in the treaty text. https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8473-English.pdf

Or define "the source of damage" you kept claiming as missing.

The source of damage is from Japan's illegal occupation of Korea. So if this case went before the ICJ, the ICJ would be deciding about the legal validity of the Japanese occupation of Korea, not if the damages were included in the 1965 treaty because it wasn't.

If the ICJ decides that the Japanese occupation of Korea was legal, then there is no damage to speak of since countries have the right to conscript menpower during war. Case closed.

If the ICJ decides that the Japanese occupation of Korea was illegal, then Japan is in a bigger trouble than it is now.

This is why I don't understand why Abe san thinks he can go to the ICJ thinking Japan would win.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The 1965 treaty text makes it explicitly clear that it was about property claims, not damages claim. It is spelled out in the treaty itself!

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8473-English.pdf

"It is understood that "property, rights and interests" means all kinds of substantial rights which are recognized under law to be of property value ; "

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

S. Koreans will always find something to pick on a loophole to use in order to start this again like you've done multiple times already.

We found a loophole too it's called National Security, a way to get back at S. Korea. Don't cry now, don't run to American Daddy, UN mommy and ask for help. Buy your products somewhere else.

You can't be on White list of countries either with the amount of hate and bias you have towards Japan. That's for friends and true allies. Sorry

4 ( +7 / -3 )

After 10 years of negotiation up to 1965, two countries did not agree 1910 treaty was null and void in the 1st place or in 1945. How could Japan insert the term " compensation for damage caused by illegal acts as results of illegal occupation" into the very text of the treaty? SK tried to force Japan admit it and make Japan insert the admittance into the text of the treaty.

1910 annexation was legitimate, so "Already" null and void in 1965.

If SK didn't like it, it shouldn't have signed it in the 1st place.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@showchinmono

1910 annexation was legitimate, so "Already" null and void in 1965.

And exactly when did Japan take legal actions to invalidate the 1910 treaty?

"Already null and void" at the time of the 1965 treaty signing, even though Japan did absolutely nothing to nullify it prior.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Samit BasuToday  05:19 am JST

@showchinmono

"Damage" exist inclusive in 4th of clause 5 under list of 8 items SK demanded.

You quote me where in the treaty text. https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8473-English.pdf

Or define "the source of damage" you kept claiming as missing.

The source of damage is from Japan's illegal occupation of Korea. So if this case went before the ICJ, the ICJ would be deciding about the legal validity of the Japanese occupation of Korea, not if the damages were included in the 1965 treaty because it wasn't.

If the ICJ decides that the Japanese occupation of Korea was legal, then there is no damage to speak of since countries have the right to conscript menpower during war. Case closed.

Which country is rejecting to take the case to arbitration committee or to ICJ.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is logically impossible that somebody gives money for damage while not admitting the damage. That is why the Japanese government gave the money "free of charge", probably for the economic development of S. Korea.

The aforesaid supply and loans must serve the economic development of the Republic of Korea.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@showchinmono

Which country is rejecting to take the case to arbitration committee or to ICJ.

I am simply showing why Abe san should be wary of going to the ICJ over the 1965 treaty, because legal theory favors Korea's position over Japan's.

Japanese negotiators due to their sheer incompetency inserted bombshell within the 1965 treaty text by

1._Admitting that the 1910 treaty was "already" null and void.

2._Leaving an explicit clarification that the treaty covered property values only.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

-Japain paid for all such claims in 1965.

This was the understanding between nations and how relations got back to normal. Nowhere did it say S. Korea can come back decades later to ask for more or bring something new up.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@AlexBecu

This was the understanding between nations

The 1965 treaty text doesn't say it. The 1965 treaty text says it only covers property value claims.

*"It is understood that "property, rights and interests" means all kinds of substantial rights which are recognized under law to be of property value ; "*

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Take it to court than. Let's find out.

Wait, South Korea refuses to bring in a 3rd party to read and look at the 1965 aggrement. Even now they refuse anyone to intervine and want to handle such disputes as Force labor and Comfort woman 1 on 1.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Samit BasuToday  05:38 am JST

@showchinmono

Which country is rejecting to take the case to arbitration committee or to ICJ.

I am simply showing why Abe san should be wary of going to the ICJ over the 1965 treaty, because legal theory favors Korea's position over Japan's.

Japanese negotiators due to their sheer incompetency inserted bombshell within the 1965 treaty text by

1._Admitting that the 1910 treaty was "already" null and void.

2._Leaving an explicit clarification that the treaty covered property values only.

Don't make me repeat the same. In order to interpret, you refer to all the complementary documents. Even one word " concerning the claims" which was separately refereed to from other proprietary tangible assets in the very text of the treaty itself. You just keep ignoring the list of 8 items demanded by SK and fulfilled.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

And then if high contracting parties still cannot solve the dispute, they must take the case to arbitration committee or to ICJ which SK keeps rejecting.

SK as a country is exposing, literally, shame by national scale by bring this up again even after Roh administration admitted the rest of the cares left was on the shoulder of SK government in 2005

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"the claims" in the text of the treaty is not property value. It's not substantial tangible asset until going through legal process to prove your claims as real and substantial one

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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