Japan's trade minister Hiroshige Seko has stressed that the recent tightening of export restrictions on some high-tech materials to South Korea is not a reaction to the wartime labor issue. His comment came after Moon criticized the move.
Seko told reporters on Tuesday he would not respond to Moon's remarks in his capacity as trade minister.
"Japan made it clear from the beginning that this recent move is to carry out export controls appropriately for security purposes," Seko said. " Also, Japan has explained from the very beginning that the move is not a countermeasure, and what President Moon pointed out is not right."
On Monday, Moon said Japan's export restriction to South Korea is unprecedented, and that it is unwise for Japan to connect a dispute over history with economic matters. The president warned that Tokyo's export restrictions could rebound onto Japan's economy.