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Japan-South Korea spat underscores importance of export controls

Measures are needed to ensure dangerous materials do not end up in wrong hands

South Korean protesters demonstrate outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul: relations between the two countries have been strained recently over trade and wartime issues.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The backlash in South Korea continues against Japan's move to tighten controls on exports to the country, but analysts here say Tokyo has a legitimate concern that technologies vital to national security might fall into the wrong hands.

A sharp decline in shipments to South Korea under the new rules is extremely unlikely, according to a former official at Japan's Trade Ministry, who said a lack familiarity with the export controls in Seoul and Tokyo is fueling an overreaction.

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