Japan trade minister blasts South Korea for ‘mistaken’ explanation after bilateral meeting

TOKYO – Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Tuesday (July 16) it was “regrettable” that the South Korean government had made what he said was an erroneous explanation after the two sides sat down for a working-level meeting over Japan’s export controls.

The feud between the two deepened over the weekend when they contested accounts of a frosty meeting last week on the dispute, which could threaten global supplies of microchips and smartphone displays.

Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, saying it had broken an agreement on what the two sides would disclose from the Friday discussions on Japan’s curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tech equipment, a Japanese trade ministry official said at the weekend.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) also disputed a Korean official’s statement that Seoul had asked Japan on Friday to withdraw the restrictions.

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