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Japan-South Korea rift

Automakers stockpile nuts and bolts amid Japan-South Korea feud

Intertwined industry fears chip export controls expanding to cars

Hyundai Motor apparently looks to buy components from Japanese suppliers ahead of schedule, seeking three months of inventory.   © Reuters

TOKYO/SEOUL -- Automakers and parts producers in Japan and South Korea are stocking up on items procured from the other country, fearing that the bilateral trade restrictions that hit chipmakers could spread to the automotive sector.

Tensions have grown as Japan imposed stricter export controls on chipmaking materials and removed South Korea from its so-called whitelist of trusted trade partners. Seoul responded by kicking Tokyo off its own trade whitelist, a move that takes effect Wednesday.

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