Japan and Korea’s relationship has had hostility as its chief aspect all through history. Their present political situation is still very much impacted by historical scars. It comes as no surprise then that both the nations are locked in banter over violence from Japan’s side during the Second World War. But this time around, the quarrel has fueled the government of South Korea and the general public against the latest trade protocols, further obscuring the walk towards a diplomatic solution.
Japan publicized how it was imposing trade limitations on chemicals utilized in developing flat-screens and semi-conductors, on their way to South Korea, because of the threat, they posed due to the potential military applications of these chemicals, on the 1st of July.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry stated that the Japanese-ROK association of trust, including that in the sector of export control and regulation, has been significantly damaged. The report also highlighted measures which the government of Japan could take, for instance, increased trade limitation and elimination South Korea from the White Sheet. The White Sheet is a list of nations which Japan gives preferential trading status to lessen its safety concerns.
Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, strongly criticized the trade limitations, deeming then a one-sided action. He also urged Japan to move back to the negotiation bench before their ties weakened further. Kang Kyung-Wha, the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, also talked with her counterpart, on the 26th of July, regarding the issue. She, too, strongly urged Japan to remove the restrictions and to not take steps which may further ruin the relationship between the two countries. Bi-lateral efforts have resulted in little to now breakthroughs, in spite of being strongly pushed by the South Korean side.