(LEAD) S. Korea, Japan to hold more talks on export ‘white list’ reinstatement next week

South Korea and Japan will hold another face-to-face meeting in Tokyo next week to discuss their policy measures on exports of strategic and other items, as they were to put each other back on their respective list of trusted trade partners, Seoul's industry ministry said Friday.

A fresh consultation session under the 10th Export Control Policy Dialogue will be held in Tokyo on April 24 and 25, which came after their three-day talks held in Seoul from Tuesday and two rounds of virtual meetings last week, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Director-level officials from the two sides will attend the upcoming talks again, it added.

"During this week's meeting, we explained details about our policy measures on strategic items, including their designation, trade permits and related regulations, as well as our catch-all system," the ministry said in a release.

The catch-all scheme calls on exporters to obtain a situational permit for items believed to be put to military use, though they are not listed as strategic items that require tough screening for trading on concerns that they could be diverted for military purposes.

A series of meetings came as the two neighbors have vowed to put each other on their "white list" of nations given preferential trade treatment as part of efforts to improve their relations long marred by historic and diplomatic rows stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

In 2019, Japan imposed curbs on exports to Seoul of three materials -- fluoridated polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride -- that are critical for the production of semiconductors and displays in an apparent retaliation against the South Korean Supreme Court rulings in 2018 that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to wartime forced labor victims.

Japan also removed South Korea from its trade white list that year, and the Seoul government took the same step in a tit-for-tat move.

Tokyo, however, lifted its export restrictions against Seoul last month after South Korea announced plans to compensate the forced labor victims without asking Japan for contributions despite strong opposition by the opposition party and victims.

The Seoul government will wrap up domestic procedures to reinstate Japan to its white list Monday, weeks after it began the process earlier this month, according to ministry officials.

Japan has yet to present an exact time frame regarding the potential reinstatement.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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