Japan has approved only seven shipments of sensitive industrial materials under restriction to South Korea since its implemented export curbs in July, Seoul’s trade minister said Oct. 2.
The neighboring country abruptly adopted strict regulations on Korea-bound exports of three industrial items -- fluorine polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride -- vital for the production of chips and displays.
In a parliamentary audit session, Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said Japan has given the green light to only seven shipments of the three industrial materials to Korea since the implementation.
The ministry said a day earlier it has confirmed five approvals as of end-September.
So far, Japan approved three shipments of photoresist and high-purity hydrogen fluoride, or etching gas, to Korea, along with one permission for fluorine polyimide.
Fluorine polyimide is used to make flexible organic light-emitting diode displays, and photoresist is a thin layer used to transfer a circuit pattern to a semiconductor substrate. Etching gas is needed in the semiconductor fabrication process.
Not a single approval, however, has been issued by Japan for Korea-bound shipments of the liquid form of hydrogen fluoride, the ministry added.
“We are eager to negotiate with Japan (on the trade dispute). We have been making requests, but they have not responded,” Yoo said.
Under the new policy, Japanese firms need to go through more complicated procedures to ship such materials to Korea, including filing more documents.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)