TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and South Korea made progress on Monday in their first trade talks since Tokyo put curbs on exports to its neighbor of high-technology materials, Tokyo’s trade minister said, suggesting potential improvement in a crisis between the two U.S. allies.
The two sides will meet again soon in Seoul, and Japan will decide on its export-control policy after building on the bilateral dialogue, Hiroshi Kajiyama told reporters after talks by senior-level bureaucrats.
Japan imposed the curbs on exports to South Korea of three materials used to make semiconductors in July, threatening a pillar of the South Korean economy and the global supply chain of chips.
Japan cited concerns about what it said was insufficient South Korean controls on the materials, although the curbs came as relations soured over a dispute over Japan’s wartime actions.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by William Mallard)