Japan Says Export Step Not Aimed at Hurting S. Korea
Japan said Thursday it has given an export permit for a shipment of materials headed for the South Korean semiconductor industry.
The Japanese government hopes the approval will show that the country is not banning exports to South Korea because of a historical dispute between the sides.
Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko announced the approval, saying that officials decided the shipment did not raise security concerns.
The process of approving export permits "is not arbitrary," Seko told reporters. "The step we took recently is not an export ban."
Last month, Japan placed export controls on three important materials used by South Korea's semiconductor industry. South Korea considers the export controls an attack on the country's most important industry.
In addition, Japan's Cabinet decided to remove South Korea from a list of countries that have preferred trade status. The products of nations that have preferred trade status move easily across borders.
The decision became official Wednesday when the government published it. The measure will take effect on August 28.
A Japanese government spokesman denied Wednesday that the trade decisions were a retaliatory move.
The two countries are arguing over South Korean court rulings that order Japanese companies to pay money to Korean laborers forced to work during World War II.
Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. The country says that a 1965 agreement, which normalized relations between the two countries, settled any money issues.
Japan's chief Cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Wednesday that the measures are related to Japan's national security concerns. He denied that the move was in answer to Japan's anger over the court rulings.
He called the measures "necessary...from a national security point of view."
Suga also said, "It was not intended to affect Japan-South Korea relations."
Japanese officials have said that South Korea's export control system and operation is not of the highest possible quality. Because of this, they say, the country can no longer have preferred trade status.
Suga said the measure puts South Korea back to normal status. "It's not an export ban," he added.
Japanese officials have denied South Korea's charge that they are using trade to answer the court rulings. But many South Koreans do not believe Japan is being truthful.
Japan also says South Korea violated international law by trying to force Japanese companies to compensate beyond the 1965 agreement. Japan provided $500 million in loans and aid under that deal.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was recently asked about the possibility of meeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in at upcoming international events. He said the main cause of the problem between the two countries is the wartime compensation issue.
Observers say the conflict is preventing the two nations from cooperating on security issues. These include efforts to get North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program. Some critics also say the dispute is damaging Japan's image as an economic leader in Asia.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.export ban 出口禁令
The export ban did not particularly help our business.
2.nuclear weapons 核武器
He campaigned for peace and against the spread of nuclear weapons.
3.court rulings 法院裁决
Investors face a higher hurdle for bringing cases after recent court rulings.
4.historical dispute 历史争议
Unfortunately, this pseudo-historical dispute lies at the heart of the current political debate.
5.In addition, Japan's Cabinet decided to remove South Korea from a list of countries that have preferred trade status.
a list of 一列；清单
A waiter comes to their table and gives them a list of drinks.
Please give us a list of all your requirements.
6.He called the measures "necessary...from a national security point of view."
from a point of view 从...角度看
I am very painful, but from a point of view, this is perhaps the wealth of my life.
Viewing the world without you from a point of view, doesn't mean you're in the world.
日本经济产业大臣世耕弘成（iroshige Seko）宣布了这次批准，他称，官员们认为这批货物没有引发安全问题 。
世耕弘成对记者表示，出口许可的审批过程“不是任性而为 。我们最近采取的措施不是出口禁令 。”
上个月，日本对韩国半导体产业使用的3种重要材料实施出口管制 。韩国认为，这些出口管制是对该国最重要产业的攻击 。
此外，日本内阁决定将韩国从具有优先贸易地位的国家名单中移除 。具有优先贸易地位的国家的产品可轻易通过海关 。
周三，日本政府正式发布了这一措施 。该措施将于8月28日生效 。
1910年到1945年，日本在朝鲜半岛进行殖民统治 。该国表示，使两国关系正常化的1965年协议解决了任何有关赔偿的问题 。
日本内阁官房长官菅义伟周三表示，这些措施事关日本的国家安全问题 。他否认此举是为了回应日本对韩国法院裁决的愤怒 。
日本官员表示，韩国的出口管制体系和运营并未达到最高质量水平 。他们称，鉴于此，韩国不再享有优先贸易地位 。
菅义伟称，这些措施是让韩国回归正常地位 。他补充说：“但这不是出口禁令 。”
日本官员否认了韩方称日本利用贸易回应韩国法院判决的指控 。但是很多韩国人认为日本不诚实 。
日本还表示，韩国试图强迫日本公司在1965年协议之外进行赔偿，此举违反了国际法 。根据该协议，日本提供了5亿美元的贷款和援助 。
近期，日本首相安倍晋三被问及是否有可能在即将举行的国际活动中与韩国总统文在寅会面 。他说，两国问题的根源是战争时期的赔偿问题 。
观察人士表示，这场冲突阻碍了两国在安全问题上的合作 。其中包括让朝鲜终止核武器项目的努力 。一些评论家还表示，这一争议损害了日本作为亚洲经济领导者的形象 。