Japan has recently taken steps to regulate the export of hi-tech materials to South Korea. It has justified the moves under the pretext of “national security”, presumably to exploit this exception under World Trade Organisation rules.However, the moves are widely seen as retaliation for the Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labour during World War II. Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko admitted as much when he said the steps were a…


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