Japan decides to revoke Seoul's preferential trade status
Tokyo, Aug 2 (IANS) Japan on Friday decided to remove South Korea from a list of nations entitled to simplified export control procedures.
The cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved plans to remove South Korea from a "white list" of countries, raising the stakes in a bitter diplomatic row between the neighbours, reports Xinhua news agency.
The removal of South Korea from the list will take effect on August 28 after going through necessary domestic procedures, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said at a press conference.
Japan has already tightened regulations early last month on its export to South Korea of three materials vital to make memory chips and display panels, which are the mainstay of the South Korean export.
Under the preferential deals which also simplified procedures, Japanese exporters can ship products and technology to 27 white listed countries including Argentina, Australia, Britain, Germany, New Zealand and the US, among others.
South Korea is the first country to be excluded on Japan's white list after gaining the status in 2004. Now Japanese companies will need to obtain case-by-case approval from Tokyo's Trade Ministry to be able to export to South Korea.
The announcement came a day after Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers did not manage to reduce tensions between the two countries in a meeting in Thailand.