South Korea smartphone makers such as Samsung, LG and semiconductor manufacturers such as SK Hynix will face a lot of difficulties.
The Japanese Ministry of Commerce today announced it would restrict exports of some technology components to South Korea. This provision was made when the two countries were in conflict in compensation for Korean workers, forced to work at a Japanese factory during World War II.
The list of export restricted components includes polyimide panels used to produce flexible displays on smartphones, organic LED displays, gas and resistors used in semiconductor manufacturing.
Regulations will apply from July 4. Japanese suppliers who want to sell components to Korean companies such as Samsung, LG and SK Hynix will have to apply for approval. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Japan can also remove Korea from the list of countries that are not restricted by technology trade, and do not threaten national security.
Japan’s move is quite similar to the US ban on Huawei, when it makes the Chinese manufacturer blacklisted and does not allow US technology companies to cooperate or supply components.
This means that Korean smartphone makers like Samsung, LG and semiconductor manufacturers like SK Hynix will face a lot of difficulties.
Earlier this year, the Korean Supreme Court ruled a number of Japanese companies, including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. These companies were accused of forced labor during World War II, and were subject to compensation and foreclosure.
However, the Japanese government said this incident was satisfactorily resolved in 1965, as part of a diplomatic restoration agreement between the two countries. Japan requested Korea to revoke its ruling against its companies, and at the same time bring the case to the International Arbitration Council for review.