Cheong Wa Dae seeks opposition party’s support in countering Japan’s export curbs

SEOUL, A top Cheong Wa Dae official asked the main opposition party Friday to help the government counter Japan's use of trade as a retaliatory measure over a historical problem.

Kim Sang-jo, chief of staff for policy to President Moon Jae-in, raised the issue in his meeting with Hwang Kyo-ahn, head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), at the National Assembly in Seoul.

Kim asked the LKP to "throw its weight" behind the government's efforts to resolve the matter "smoothly at an early date."

Citing challenges both in external negotiations and internal ones with regard to trade disputes and talks, Kim said, "To be sure, it's really a difficult situation."

He stressed the need for a concerted response to protect the national interest.

Hwang said, "Our party will do everything it can." But he urged the Moon administration to shift its diplomatic, security and economic policies.

"There exists a view that (it) has failed to maintain a balance between the United States and China," he said. "The Japan issue is getting very serious of late. Policy changes are necessary, from overall policy and security to economy."

Hwang, in particular, said the "economic experiment" of the government's income-driven growth policy over the past two years showed that it's not viable.

Kim reiterated that the government will try to address some side or adverse effects by "harmonizing" policy consistency and flexibility.

Earlier this week, Japan toughened restrictions on the supply to South Korean firms of some high-tech products needed to make semiconductors and computer displays.

Cheong Wae Dae characterized it as a retaliation amid a diplomatic spat over compensation for Koreans forced to toil in Japanese factories during World War II.

South Korea's Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of victims seeking compensation from some Japanese companies. While Seoul has maintained that it respects the court's decision, Tokyo has claimed that all reparation issues associated with its 1910-45 colonization of Korea were settled in a 1965 bilateral treaty.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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