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Regarding misinformed media reports concerning a press briefing by the ROK government

July 13, 2019

Media reports said that the Republic of Korea (ROK) had made the following points regarding an administrative briefing held on July 12th on export controls provided by directors at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to officials from the ROK:

  1. “Yesterday, we communicated the ROK’s position and arguments for more than four hours. It is more appropriate to call the session a consultation to resolve an issue.”
  2. “We expressed regrets at the Japanese measures. We also requested the restoration of the original condition and the retraction of the measures.”
  3. “We reiterated our request that a meeting between the relevant authorities of the two countries be held again by July 24.”
Regarding the above points, and due to misinformation therein, the facts are as below.

1.Point (1) “Yesterday, we communicated the ROK’s position and arguments for more than four hours. It is more appropriate to call the session a consultation to resolve an issue.”

This session was held at the ROK’s request as an administrative briefing on the specifics of the “Update of METI’s licensing policies and procedures on exports of controlled items to the Republic of Korea,” which was released on July 1. The session was held under a prior agreement reached between the Japanese and ROK sides that it would serve as an administrative briefing on the update of the policies and procedures. Therefore, and as per the mutual agreement, the session was not an occasion for consultation between the export control authorities of the two countries. Moreover, this session started after its characterization (as an administrative briefing) was reaffirmed during approximately 30 minutes of discussion on how to characterize it.

2.Point (2) “We expressed regrets at the Japanese measures. We also requested the restoration of the original condition and the retraction of the measures.”

The ROK side did not “express regrets” or “request the restoration of the original condition and the retraction of the measures” but only requested the “resolution of the issue.” The Japanese side replied that the update is not an issue subject to consultation with other countries. Therefore, the Japanese side only provided a briefing at the session.

3.Point (3) “We reiterated our request that a meeting between the relevant authorities of the two countries be held again by July 24.”

Japan provided a sufficiently comprehensive explanation at the session held on July 12th, and the two sides agreed that if additional questions arise, they will be handled through e-mail or other means.

Division in Charge

Trade Control Policy Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau