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Japan-South Korea rift

Japan dismisses South Korean call to scrap export restrictions

Trade minister says controls on chip materials are not up for negotiation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in

TOKYO -- Japanese officials on Tuesday dismissed the idea of scrapping restrictions on semiconductor materials exports to South Korea, saying the controls are a matter of national security and are not up for negotiations.

"The latest step has been taken to improve the implementation of the export control regime," Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said during a regular news conference. "It is not subject to negotiations [with South Korea], and it cannot be just withdrawn."

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