Asia Economy

Japan could strike South Korea off its trade preferential list on Aug. 2

Key Points
  • Japan could decide as early as Aug. 2 to remove South Korea from the so-called white list status with minimum trade restrictions, Kyodo news agency reported.
  • Once the removal is officially announced, the change would take effect after 21 days, Kyodo said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in walks past Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28, 2019.
Kim Kyung-Hoon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Japan is preparing for cabinet approval as early as Aug. 2 to remove South Korea from the so-called white list status with minimum trade restrictions, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.

The plan would come after Japan tightened curbs this month on exports to South Korea of high-tech materials used for making memory chips and display panels.

Once the removal is officially announced, the change would take effect after 21 days, Kyodo said.

Asked about the plan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that nothing had been decided on the time frame.

The period for canvassing public opinion in Japan ended on Wednesday. South Korea has protested the Japanese plan, saying it would undermine their decades-old economic and security cooperation and threaten free trade.

There are currently 27 countries on Japan's white list including Germany, Britain and the United States.