Japan Denies Apology to Seoul over Export Controls


Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japanese trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama on Monday denied a senior South Korean government official's remark that Tokyo has apologized to Seoul over the announcement of the planned restart of high-level bilateral talks on export controls.

"It's not true that Japan has offered an apology," he told reporters, while saying, "It's not productive to comment" on each remark or behavior by the South Korean side. The development "will not affect" the reopening of the export control talks, he added.

On Friday, South Korea made an eleventh-hour decision to extend its General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, with Japan, in a reversal of its earlier decision not to renew it, which reflected worsening bilateral relations.

On the same day, the Japanese trade ministry announced a plan to resume bilateral bureau chief-level talks, which will focus on Tokyo's tighter controls on exports of certain semiconductor materials to South Korea, introduced in July on the grounds that there are flaws in South Korea's export control system.

As the reason for the planned resumption, the ministry noted that South Korea has decided to suspend procedures for a complaint it filed with the World Trade Organization in September against the tighter export controls and shown an eagerness to resolve its own problems.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press