2019 Japan–South Korea trade dispute

the trade dispute between Japan and South Korea since July 2019

Japan and South Korea have been engaged in a trade war involving the restrictions of exports by each other since 1 July 2019. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's government announce the restrictions of the materials that are crucial for South Korea's semiconductor industry. South Korea protested the Japanese trade restrictions against the country because they retaliate against decision of South Korean Supreme Court that ordered Japanese companies to compensate the forced labour victim in World War II. On 2 August, Japan remove South Korea from the list of most favoured trade partners. These decision followed by South Korea 10 days later with removing Japan from the same list on 12 August. These decisions takes effect on 28 August and 18 September, respectively. South Korea then announce a intention to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).


  • Japan’s use of trade restrictions to force South Korea to back down, while publicly justifying them as necessary for national security reasons, echoes U.S. President Donald Trump’s cavalier approach to trade rules and alliance relations. If the dispute is not resolved quickly, it could complicate efforts to deal with North Korea as well as other regional threats, while also dealing another blow to the World Trade Organization and the rules-based trading system.
  • Trump would have to engage in roll-up-your sleeves diplomacy — but that’s the last thing he wants to do. He prefers to bluster and bloviate — to play at being president without doing the hard work required. He prefers to speculate about the “deal of the century” between Israelis and Palestinians — something that is never going to happen — rather than try to resolve a less sexy but still vitally important crisis in East Asia.

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