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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korean companies stock up as Japan's export curbs kick in

Trump stays silent as Tokyo and Seoul clash over wartime labor dispute

SEOUL/TOKYO -- South Korean chipmakers and their Japanese suppliers are scrambling to deal with tougher export controls of semiconductor-related materials by Tokyo that went into effect Thursday, trying to weather the blow with short-term fixes such as by stockpiling materials.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday acknowledged that the decision targeting South Korea's core industry was retaliation for Seoul's inaction on court rulings regarding wartime labor. But the move could ultimately end up squeezing Japanese companies by forcing South Korean companies to cultivate alternative sources for the material.

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