A plan by Japan to expand restrictions on exports of sensitive materials to South Korea is likely to ripple across high-tech industries and deepen antagonisms between the East Asian neighbors.
As of July 4, Japanese companies need case-by-case approvals to export to South Korea three materials used to make semiconductors and displays used in smartphones and other high-tech devices.
Tokyo’s removal of South Korea from its so-called “white country” list, likely within a few weeks’ time, would mean that requirement will apply to dozens more products on a list of items that potentially could be converted to weapons.
That could further shake up supply chains already rattled by trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Japan’s trade ministry says Seoul has undermined the countries’ “relationship of trust,” including export controls.