Japan, S.korea To Resume Trade Talks

Japan, S.Korea to resume trade talks

Senior officials from Japan and South Korea are preparing to hold trade talks in Tokyo. The meeting on December 16 will be the first of its kind in more than three years, as the two sides try to patch up a deteriorating relationship.

Japan's trade minister says the agenda will include export controls that the two countries slapped on each other this summer. Tokyo maintains it took the step for security reasons. That prompted Seoul to retaliate weeks later.

Japan wants to discuss what the South is doing to safeguard materials that are subject to the new export controls.

Trade Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama told reporters, "Through dialogue, I hope Japan and South Korea can cooperate regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

For its part, South Korea has told NHK it will boost the number of officials at the relevant government agency from 56 to 70 next year.

But observers say Seoul wants the export controls abolished, because they're hurting some South Korean tech companies.

In the meantime, South Korea's president is pledging to limit the impact.

Moon Jae-in said, "We are overcoming Japan's export controls by building solidarity among our companies, technology experts and citizens."

Moon says his country has to use the situation to become more economically competitive.