South Korea to stay Japan’s third-largest trade partner

On Monday, data showed that despite the restrictions on exports by Tokyo to Seoul, South Korea was the third-largest trading partner of Japan in July.

According to the stats shown by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), around 4.8 trillion won (US$4 billion) worth of goods were exported by Japan to South Korea in July, which accounted for 6.6 % of total exports of Tokyo.

Since July, exports of key materials have been tightened by Japan to South Korea in what apparently looks like an act of retaliation over court rulings of Seoul on compensation for the forced labor of wartime.

Tokyo has been blamed by South Korea for weaponing trade in reprisal for how Seoul handled the matter, which stemmed from 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula of Japan.

The data stated that despite the trade restrictions, exports of Japan to South Korea grew 5.6 % on month in July, which outperformed overall monthly export growth of Tokyo of 0.9 %.

The Japanese export curbs had an impact on 3 materials — etching gas, resist and fluorinated polyimide – these are essential for the producing flexible displays and semiconductors.

But the data showed that the materials accounted for less than 1% of exports of Japan to South Korea.

According to the data provided by the Japanese government, in August, the third-largest trading partner of Japan was South Korea, which accounted for a 6.9% of total exports of Tokyo.

Last month, South Korea was removed by Japan from its list of trusted trade partners, while same was done by Seoul for Tokyo, early this month.

Earlier this month, a complaint was filed by South Korea with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding export curbs of Japan, which upped the stakes between the 2 Asian neighbors, in the unprecedented trade row.

Trade ministry of South Korea has said that its offer of holding a bilateral consultation for dealing with the WTO complaint was accepted by Japan.