South Korea’s Yoon says Japan will be back on trade ‘white list’

  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on 21 Mar he would order officials to begin procedures that would return Japan to its “white list” of countries with fast-track trade status after a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week.
  • Yoon announced the decision at a cabinet meeting, saying South Korea and Japan should make efforts to remove obstacles that hinder developing bilateral ties.
  • “I will preemptively order our trade minister today to begin necessary legal procedures to have Japan back on our white list,” Yoon told the meeting, which was televised live. “I’m sure Japan will respond if South Korea first starts removing the obstacles.”
  • South Korea and Japan removed each other from the list in 2019 amid a decades-old row over a 2018 South Korean court order for Japanese companies to compensate forced labourers during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of Korea.

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