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Despite Moon's claims, South Korea still relies on Japanese chip materials

Seoul touts success in made-in-Korea drive but trade numbers tell another story

South Korea gaining self-sufficiency in high-tech materials would be to the detriment of Japanese companies, but Tokyo has little sense of crisis.   © Nikkei illustration

SEOUL/TOKYO -- When Japan two years ago imposed tighter controls on exports of semiconductor materials to South Korea, it shook supply chains across the two countries and made Seoul realize that an excessive dependency on Japanese products came with risks. South Korea thus began pushing to become self-sufficient in high-tech chip materials.

But so far South Korea's efforts to cut its reliance on Japan-made materials have not progressed as much as the government says they have, and trade statistics show the economies' interdependency.

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