Japan Rejects S.korea Claim Over Export Curb Talks

Japan rejects S.Korea claim over export curb talks

Japanese trade officials have denied that their South Korean counterparts had demanded that Tokyo retract recently imposed export curbs.

The trade ministry officials made the assertion in a rare news conference on Saturday evening.

On Friday, officials from the two sides met over Japan's tightened regulations on exports of several materials to South Korea.

Japanese officials said after the meeting that they had explained why the export curbs had been put in place, and that the measure was not in retaliation for a recent South Korean court ruling on wartime labor.

The Japanese officials also said the South Korean side understood their explanations and did not ask that the curbs be retracted.

But on Saturday, a member of the South Korean delegation said that they had told the Japanese side that they neither understood nor accepted Tokyo's claims.

They expressed regret over the situation, and said Seoul had requested that Japan retract the measure.

The Japanese officials said the ministry rechecked the minutes and confirmed there were no clear remarks requesting a retraction.

They said the comments by their South Korean counterparts exceeded what they agreed to at Friday's meeting.

The Japanese side said the move could undermine mutual trust, and that Japan's trade ministry has lodged a protest with South Korea.