Japan restricts tech exports to South Korea amid war-time forced labor

One of the leading tech countries in the world, Japan, responds to South Korea’s ruling on war-time forced labor.

Japan will apply stricter measures on exporting high-tech materials used in smartphone devices to South Korea. This is according to the industry ministry last Monday, reported by Reuters.

The tightened export controls will be effective starting July 4. The implementation is expected to slow ongoing exports for months which will affect South Korean tech companies. Notable tech giants include Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and SK Hynix.

The measure is a move against Seoul’s lack of action to address issues related to an October top court ruling. The ruling ordered Nippon Steel corporation to compensate for the forced labor during World War II.

A report by Reuters says that a South Korean trade official has responded to Japan’s move. The official said: “South Korea has failed to show any measures on the forced labor issue … and damaged mutual trust.”

The statement was made during a briefing at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

“As trust has been lost, we cannot have a dialogue and are unable to ensure that proper export controls are being taken,” the official reportedly said.

Japan maintains that issues of forced labor was put to rest when it restored diplomatic ties with South Korea back in 1965. The country has denounced the ruling is urging South Korea to launch an arbitration panel.
Materials which will be restricted from export are fluorinated polyimide, reist, and high-purity hydrogen fluoride (HF). These materials are used in smartphone displays and semiconductors.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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