SEOUL (Reuters) – Japan has approved shipment of a high-tech material to South Korea for the second time since imposing export curbs last month, Yonhap News Agency reported late on Monday, citing industry and government officials.
The high-tech material cleared for Japan’s exports to South Korea is photoresists, which are crucial for Samsung Electronics’ advanced contract chipmaking production.
A Samsung Electronics spokeswoman declined to comment.
Japan earlier this month gave the green light to the exports of photoresists to Samsung Electronics for the first time since tightening export controls on three high-tech materials in early July. But Japan at that time warned it could broaden restrictions on deliveries to its Asian neighbour.
Japan’s latest move comes ahead a meeting between Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono will meet his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, in Beijing on Wednesday, amid deteriorating relations between the two East Asian countries.
The dispute, rooted in their wartime past, was exacerbated by the tightening of curbs on shipments of three high-tech components used in chips and displays.
Relations between the two U.S. allies worsened late last year as part of a decades-old dispute over compensation for forced labourers during Japan’s occupation.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Sandra Maler)