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Japan-ROK feud flare-up imperils regional progress

China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-11 07:40

In a move that the Republic of Korea says risks pushing bilateral ties to a "dead-end street", Japan announced last week that it would tighten curbs on exports to the ROK of three materials vital to the tech industry. Seoul said the measures would leave it with no other choice but to take "countermeasures".

Tokyo cited broken trust as reason behind the move, saying there may have been the illegal transfer of sensitive materials from the ROK to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. But many believe it is Japan's retaliation for recent ROK court rulings ordering Japanese corporations to compensate Koreans used as forced labor during World War II, an issue that Japan insists has long been resolved.

The tough stance that it has taken suggests that Japan no longer wants to continue to bear the moral burden of history-related matters when handling bilateral relations with its East Asian neighbor, especially after the current ROK administration revived the issue of so-called comfort women after its predecessor agreed to a pact in 2015 that was supposed to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the issue.

Japan-ROK feud flare-up imperils regional progress

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