Seoul, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)–South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon criticized on Wednesday Japan’s removal of Seoul from its list of trusted trade partners qualified for preferential treatment in export procedures the same day as “extremely regrettable.”
At a meeting of relevant ministers, Lee said it is extremely regrettable that Japan continues to impose unreasonable measures on South Korea.
Lee called on the Japanese government to engage in dialogue toward improving bilateral relations without making the situation worse.
In addition, Lee expressed his government’s readiness to proceed smoothly with work to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization in order to address Japan’s measures. He, however, stopped short of touching on details such as a timetable for the WTO complaint.
The removal of South Korea from the list came into force in the second round of Japan’s stricter trade measures against the Asian neighbor. Exports of products with military potential, including some machine tools and cutting-edge materials, now need approval on an individual trade deal basis in principle.
Lee also said that South Korea should make efforts for the development of the materials and parts industries regardless of Japan’s future moves.
He revealed that the South Korean government plans to pour more than 5 trillion won into the industries over the next three years.