NHK reported today on remarks made by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seko at separate news conferences this morning that tighter controls on semiconductor material exports to the ROK are not subject to bilateral discussions and will not be withdrawn. This was in reaction to a statement by ROK President Moon yesterday seeking bilateral talks on the export curbs and their withdrawal. Both officials asserted that this measure is being taken as an internal procedure for security reasons to ensure proper management of sensitive exports. NHK also reported that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is taking steps to drop the ROK from the “white list” of 27 nations given preferential treatment in trade and upon the completion of this procedure, export curbs will expand to machine tools, carbon fibers, and other items. Seko was also quoted as saying that the export controls could be eased or tightened further depending on whether the ROK is able to manage its exports properly. Kyodo News also reported on Suga’s and Seko’s comments.