The South Korean foreign ministry decided on Wednesday August 28th to summon Japan’s Ambassador, after Japan’s decision to remove its close neighbour from its “white list” of trusted trade partners came into effect.
In summoning Japan’s Ambassador to Seoul, Yasumasa Nagamine, South Korea plans to file an official complaint and demand the reversal of the Japanese decision.
South Korea has always affirmed that its strained relations with Japan started last year, when South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled that Japan has to compensate victims of South Korean forced labour during World War II. Japan insists that the issue of forced labour was fully settled in 1965 when the two countries announced restoring diplomatic ties.
South Korea's deputy foreign minister Cho Se-young “pointed out that the measure was clear retaliation for the court ruling and posed a grave challenge that shook the foundation of the two countries' cooperative relations," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Japanese chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told a regular news conference on Wednesday that the Japanese-South Korean relation was currently in an “extremely difficult state,” citing South Korea’s “negative and irrational actions”.
Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, on August 21st expressed hope that his country’s feud with South Korea was resolved.
Japan has tightened controls on exports bound for South Korea since July this year. Among the damage expected is that South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc, who both supply Apple and China's Huawei Technologies, may face delays.