Trade Wars: The saga continues with Japan vs. South Korea
While all eyes remain on the global trade war involving the Chinese giants such as Huawei and ZTE, Japan comes out of the blue with a decision that will make like harder for the South Korean tech companies that are currently importing various materials used in making chips and smartphones.
Earlier today, Japan announced that local companies who want to export fluorinated polyimide, resist, or hydrogen fluoride to South Korea will need the government's approval starting July 4. The list of Korean companies that will be affected by these trade restrictions includes — but is not limited to — Samsung and LG. Even worse, the Japanese government will ask the public's opinion on removing South Korea from its "white country list" so — if the Japanese people agree — all South Korean companies will have to face various restrictions.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, "The international export control system is built on the basis of a trust relationship, but from a review by the relevant ministries and agencies, the trust relationship between Japan and Korea has been seriously impaired."
We are expecting to see official statements from Samsung and LG later this week. However, if they will choose to ignore this, there can be only one reason for it: the problem is less important than it seems.