Japan rejects South Korea's offer to extend intel-sharing pact for retraction of trade controls
Japan Times -- Sep 07
Japan has decided to reject South Korea’s offer to extend a military intelligence-sharing pact scheduled to expire in November in exchange for Tokyo easing retightened trade controls, government sources said Friday.

South Korea last month notified Japan that it is pulling out of the bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which helps the U.S. allies counter missile threats from North Korea.

Lee Nak-yeon, the South’s prime minister, has said the termination of the pact could be avoided if Japan puts South Korea back on its “white list” of trusted countries that enjoy minimum trade restrictions on goods that have military applications. The pact is set to expire on Nov. 22.

But a Japanese government official dismissed the overture, saying, “We cannot condone negotiations to barter trade controls with security cooperation. They’re completely different issues.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said the issues are in “completely different dimensions.”

Kenji Kanasugi, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, relayed the stance to his South Korean counterpart Kim Jung Han during a meeting in Seoul late last month, a diplomatic source said.

In addition to removing South Korea from the white list, Japan has imposed stricter controls on exports of some crucial materials used to manufacture semiconductors and display panels, potentially dealing a major blow to industrial giants Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc., among others.

News source: Japan Times
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