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Japan’s Position on the Press Conference by MOTIE of the ROK on July 24th

July 24, 2019

METI clarifies Japan’s position on the ROK’s catch-all system which the ROK claims as appropriate for both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and explains the background to the current lack of bilateral policy dialogue.

1. Press conference by MOTIE of the ROK on July 24th

The minister of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (ROK) made claims today about (1) the ROK's catch-all control, (2) the policy dialogue between Japan and the ROK, (3) the ROK's export control system, and (4) possible global impact on free trade caused by Japan’s update.

METI has repeatedly clarified and explained Japan’s view on the topics above. This news release will focus especially on the facts about (1) the ROK's catch-all control and (2) the policy dialogue between Japan and the ROK.

2.The ROK’s catch-all control

According the stipulations in the actual Korean legal documents that serve as the basis for the ROK catch-all system, the ROK’s catch-all control only covers weapons of mass destruction (WMD) / missile related goods. Therefore, Japan recognizes that the legal basis for the ROK’s assertion that it has introduced a conventional weapons catch-all control is unclear.

In addition, although Japan has an ongoing e-mail correspondence channel with the ROK with regard to the ROK's export control system, METI has yet to receive a detailed explanation of the ROK’s catch-all control from the Korean side.

3.The policy dialogue between Japan and the ROK

In today's press conference, the MOTIE minister misstated the details of Japan and the ROK’s coordination of the policy dialogue. Despite the fact that Japan has repeatedly proposed dialogues, the ROK has postponed them on every occasion, providing a unilateral rationale on each occasion, even after both sides agreed on the specific date for the scheduled dialogue.

The fact that the MOTIE minister attributed the lack of policy dialogue to Japan by stating "the ROK was waiting for a new schedule proposal from the host country, Japan", hinders the formation of the two countries’ relationship of trust.

Division in Charge

Trade Control Policy Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau