South Korea's trade minister Yoo Myung-hee announced that Seoul is filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization over Japan's tighter export curbs on three strategic materials used in semiconductors and displays.
The complaint will be officially initiated when the South Korean government hands in its request letter for consultations with the Embassy of Japan in Geneva and the WTO to seek the withdrawal of the export curbs.
Seoul says Tokyo's export curbs are politically motivated as the measures were retaliation by Japan for the rulings on compensation for Japan's use of Koreans as forced labor before and during World War Two.
And added that the export curbs are only directly targeted at Seoul which shows that they are a discriminative action.
"Japan announced its export curbs without any prior notice and executed the curbs just three days after the announcement. It has not only ignored procedural justification, but also lacks consideration for its neighboring country."
Trade minister Yoo laid out three major violations of the WTO agreement obligation which Japan has committed.
She said Japan has violated the WTO's obligation to not discriminate.
In addition, Japan has changed export procedures for three materials that were traded freely with an general permit so that now they require individual permits.
And lastly, Seoul claims that Tokyo's export curbs have taken advantage of trade in retaliation against political issues.
Yoo emphasized that South Korea wishes to resolve the issue through bilateral talks with Japan.
If the consultations with the Japanese embassy in Geneva and the WTO do not resolve the issues within the next 2 months, South Korea will request a WTO panel ruling.
A case taken to the panel ruling could take more than two years to be resolved legally.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.