Japan said Tuesday it does not plan to retract or renegotiate its stricter controls on high-tech exports to South Korea, a day after the South Korean president urged that the issue be resolved through diplomacy.
Tokyo tightened the approval process for Japanese shipments of photoresists and other sensitive materials to South Korean companies last week.
Japanese officials say such materials can be exported only to trustworthy trading partners, hinting at security risks without citing specific cases. They have rejected suggestions that the move was driven by a deterioration in ties between the two countries related to historical issues.
“The measure is not a subject for consultation and we have no intention of withdrawing it either,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference.
He was responding to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s appeal for a diplomatic solution thorough “sincere” bilateral discussions, urging Tokyo to withdraw what he described as a politically motivated measure.
Moon said Monday his country would be forced to take countermeasures if the restrictions on materials used mainly in semiconductors and displays cause damage to South Korean companies. The trade curbs have raised concern over possible disruptions for South Korean manufacturers and global supply chains, he said.