Parliamentary panel passes resolution against Japan’s export curbs

SEOUL, The parliamentary foreign affairs committee on Monday adopted a resolution calling on Japan to immediately withdraw its curbs on exports to South Korea of key high-tech materials.

In a bipartisan effort to tackle Japan's export restrictions, rival parties passed a single resolution by consensus at a meeting of the committee, after reviewing five related resolutions.

In the four-point resolution, lawmakers expressed "deep" regret that Japan's move hampers the basis of Seoul-Tokyo ties and hurts the global free trade order.

"We urge the Japanese government to immediately retract its retaliatory export curbs," the resolution said.

The lawmakers voiced concerns that potential protracted tensions between the two nations could cause economic damage and urged South Korea and Japan to seek diplomatic solutions to the spat.

The committee also called on Japanese government officials and politicians to immediately stop groundless claims that its export curbs are in response to South Korea's suspected violation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

"The Korean government should also protect local industry and the Korean economy from Japan's export restrictions. We call on the government to aggressively respond to Japan's inappropriate export curbs," it said.

The committee originally planned to adopt the resolution at a meeting on Friday, but that was scuttled by rival parties' failure to fix the date for a parliamentary plenary session.

It remains uncertain when the National Assembly could put the resolution to a vote at a plenary meeting, with no deal on a date yet reached.

Japan began applying curbs on exports to South Korea of three key materials needed for making chips and displays on July 4 in apparent response to Seoul's handling of a wartime forced labor issue.

Tokyo is pushing to remove South Korea from a list of trusted buyers, which could negatively affect the supply of other key materials needed for making smartphones, televisions and other industrial materials.

President Moon Jae-in and the chiefs of five major political parties agreed last week to launch a bipartisan task force to cope with Japan's export curbs.

Earlier in the day, National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang met the floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party and two opposition parties, but they again failed to reach an agreement on plenary sessions.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party called for a vote on a motion proposing that President Moon Jae-in dismiss the defense minister over a maritime security failure as a precondition for the passage of an extra budget bill. But the ruling Democratic Party is opposed to the idea.

An extraordinary parliamentary session in June ended Friday without passing a 6.7 trillion-won (US$5.7 billion) extra budget bill or other proposals.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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