Japan takes illegal S. Korean exports seriously

The Yomiuri Shimbun The Japanese government takes seriously South Korea’s repeated illegal export of strategic goods with potential military applications, as these goods have been delivered to Iran, Syria and other countries with close ties to North Korea.

Tokyo will not end its tightened controls on exports of semiconductor materials to South Korea as it believes Seoul’s export control system is lax.

Regarding the implementation of the more stringent export controls, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami said at a press conference Thursday, “This change is necessary to ensure the appropriate operation of the export control system for our national security.”

On July 4, Tokyo announced export restrictions on hydrogen fluoride and two other goods needed to produce semiconductors, citing inadequacies related to South Korea’s export controls.

A source close to the government expressed concern that Japan’s credibility would be damaged if goods exported from Japan to South Korea are then exported to countries friendly with North Korea and used for weapons production and other purposes.

Regarding cases of impropriety in South Korea, a high-ranking government official said Thursday that illegal exports are not the only issue, as the country’s export control system is generally inadequate.

The government is advancing procedures for revising a government ordinance to strip South Korea of preferential “white country” status that allows for export procedures to be streamlined. If South Korea loses the status, companies may need permission from the government to export all goods to the country.Speech

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