The trade dispute between Japan and South Korea is intensifying. As South Korean Trade Minister SungYun Mo announced, South Korea's government has decided to cut Japan off bilateral trade from the White List of Preferential Countries. Only a week ago, Japan had done the same and South Korea from its Listegestrichen. The government in Seoul had announced retaliation.
South Korea's government justified the fact that Japan had violated international principles in export controls. The changes are expected to come into force in September. The escalation of the dispute between the two states could damage global supply chains, such as those in the chip and electronics industries. This is already due to the trade dispute between the US and China anyway.
Japan removed South Korea from its White List last week, citing security concerns and breaches of export rules. For military goods, therefore, stricter export rules should apply.
The reason for the current commercial dispute lies in the conflict-laden history between Japan and South Korea. The Korean Peninsula was a colony of Japan between 1910 and 1945. Earlier, the Supreme Court of South Korea had sentenced two Japanese companies to pay compensation to former forced laborers. For this purpose, the company's possession should also be confiscated. Japan rejected the reference to an agreement of 1965, in which all claims had been resolved. Mediation talks between the two states have so far been unsuccessful.