Japan Firms Worried over Growing Tensions with S. Korea

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese companies, including exporters, are increasingly concerned over escalating tensions between Tokyo and Seoul, after the Japanese government decided Friday to remove South Korea from its list of trusted trading partners qualified for simplified export procedures.

The ever-deteriorating bilateral relations are starting to have impacts on the tourism industry, while the Japanese business sector is highly alert for a rise in anti-Japan sentiments in South Korea and moves in the country to boycott Japanese products.

The Japanese government action came after the country in July tightened its controls on exports of hydrogen fluoride and two other semiconductor-related materials to South Korea.

The tensions between the two Asian neighbors had already been running high, partly because of South Korean top court rulings last year that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Koreans requisitioned to work for them during World War II.

"It's difficult to predict how and to what extent our business will be affected" by the fresh trade measure, Masayoshi Shirayanagi, operating officer of Toyota Motor Corp. <7203>, told reporters cautiously after a press conference Friday to announce the leading Japanese automaker's earnings for the April-June first quarter of fiscal 2019.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press