South Korea Officially Downgrades Japan as Trade Partner

Anti-Japan sign in South Korea
Anti-Japan sign in South Korea

Published Sep 17, 2019 6:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea officially removed Japan from its list of trusted trade partners on Wednesday as part of an on-going trade war between the two nations.

The conflict is the result of South Korea's expectations for compensation for forced labor and sexual slavery by Japan before and during World War II.

Japan downgraded its trading relationship with South Korea in August by taking it off a list of nations for which exports of industrial and high-tech products are fast-tracked.

South Korean companies shipping strategic goods to Japan will now have to submit five documents to win individual approval, which is more than the previous three, reports Yonhap news agency. The approval process will take around 15 days, instead of five.

Last month, South Korea announced plans to strengthen its inspection regime for battery, tire and plastic waste imported from Japan. The Ministry of Environment said it will focus on radioactive and heavy metals tests on waste imported from Japan for recycling. The move follows a decision to strengthen inspection of Japanese coal ash imports.

Many South Koreans have been boycotting Japanese goods, including beer, cosmetics and cars, and tourism to Japan has also declined.