Japan Explains Intent Of Export Curbs To S.korea

Japan explains intent of export curbs to S.Korea

As tensions continue over Japan's stricter export curbs against South Korea, officials from both governments have held talks for the first time since the measures were imposed on July 4.

The closed-door meeting was held at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry on Friday.

The talks started around 2 p.m. and lasted for about 5 hours, far longer than originally scheduled.

Japanese trade ministry officials say they explained that the restrictions were put in place as a precautionary measure to deal with improper trade controls in South Korea for materials that can be used for military purposes. Japan tightened export controls on three items, including materials used to make semiconductors.

They also reiterated that the measure was not in retaliation for any other issues, such as a recent South Korean court ruling on wartime labor, and added that it does not violate World Trade Organization rules.

Japanese officials say they were asked for an explanation of the export controls, but were not told to scrap the measure.

They also said the South Korean side did not mention the possibility of seeking arbitration of the dispute by the WTO.

Japanese trade ministry officials say they are willing to answer any inquiries from South Korea as long as they are of a technical nature.