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Japan-South Korea rift

Japan allows first material exports to South Korea since curbs

Month after tightening controls, Tokyo says it will not stop legitimate trade

Tokyo in July tightened export controls on materials used to make semiconductors and display screens. (Montage by Naomi Hakusui)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government has given the green light for exports of a semiconductor manufacturing material to South Korea, the first such approval since Tokyo tightened controls on the products in July.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry determined after a review that there is no risk the material will be used for military equipment. Hiroshige Seko, the trade minister, on Thursday announced the decision and stressed that Japan "will not misuse" its export curbs.

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