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Japan-South Korea rift

Japan agrees to hold bilateral talks with South Korea in WTO dispute

Japanese Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japanese Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara said on Friday that Tokyo would hold talks with Seoul over Japan's move to tighten export controls to South Korea, agreeing to Seoul's request for consultations as part of a dispute settlement through the World Trade Organization.

"We will make arrangements through diplomatic channels," Sugawara told a news conference.

Separately, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a briefing there was no immediate plan for him to meet with his South Korean counterpart.

Earlier this week, South Korea initiated a WTO dispute against Japan's export curbs involving three materials used in smartphone chips and displays. South Korea will seek the end of the export curbs through the bilateral consultations, and if the talks do not resolve the issues, it will request a WTO panel ruling on the cases, the South Korean trade minister has said.

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