Tokyo to restore Seoul’s preferred trading partner status 4 years on

Tokyo, June 27 (EFE).- Japan announced Tuesday it would restore the status of preferred trading partner to South Korea from next month to expedite exchanges, ending a four-year hiatus due to historical bilateral disputes.

This will make it possible to reduce bureaucratic processes that have been weighing down the commercial exchanges of key materials for both countries, the economy ministry said in the statement with which it made the July 21 decision official.

Japan and South Korea removed each other from their preferential trade lists in 2019, a year that marked a nosedive in their bilateral relations until recently.

That year, Tokyo imposed restrictions on the shipment of key products to produce displays and semiconductors (central to South Korean exports) in response to Seoul’s decision to demand compensation from Japanese companies that enslaved Koreans under colonial rule in the 20th century.

Both countries agreed to put an end to these obstacles in March after Seoul presented a plan to compensate these people using funds from South Korean companies that benefited at the time from a package of hundreds of millions of dollars the Japanese government paid to compensate the victims of colonization.

In response, Tokyo removed the restrictions on exporting such products and Seoul reciprocated its preferential treatment, which Japan will return from next month after amending the relevant regulations that had revoked its status.

The deal also ended South Korea’s lawsuit against Japan at the World Trade Organization over the already withdrawn restrictions.

In recent years, numerous individuals in South Korea have been filing lawsuits seeking financial compensation for themselves and their descendants from corporations that used forced labor during that period.

The previous South Korean administration had been in favor of the demands, while the Japanese government claimed that the issue was resolved with a multimillion-dollar payment when the countries resumed diplomatic relations in 1965, the funds of which were allegedly embezzled. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button