Japan's Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said that Tokyo will go ahead with its plan to take Seoul off its whitelist of trusted trading partners, as planned.
Seko told reporters on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting that the Japanese government will carry out the plan,denying criticism that the move is intended to harm the South Korean economy.
He reiterated that the decision is part of its plan to properly manage export controls, not meant to impact relations between Seoul and Tokyo.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga also said in a briefing that the revised export control order will go into effect on Wednesday.
Earlier, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Seoul may reconsider its decision to end the military intelligence-sharing pact with Tokyo, if Japan retracts its trade curbs on the country.
Suga said the two matters cannot be linked together.
Japan implemented exports restrictions on three key high-tech materials used in semiconductors back in July, and decided to exclude South Korea off its whitelist of preferential trading partners in August.
Although Japan denies it, the act is widely seen as retaliation against last year's ruling by the South Korean Supreme Court on victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial rule.
Once removed from the whitelist, Japanese exporters have to get the case-by-case approval from the government every six months, instead of every three years, to ship items classified as strategic goods to Korea.
The approval may take about 90 days for non-whitelist countries,while it usually takes about a week for whitelist countries.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.