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Japan-South Korea rift

Tokyo and Seoul clash at WTO as third countries look other way

South Korea calls export curbs unfair while Japan cites national security

South Korean deputy trade minister Kim Seung-ho argued Tuesday that the harm from Japan's trade curbs would extend beyond South Korea.   © Reuters

GENEVA/TOKYO -- Japan and South Korea faced off at a World Trade Organization meeting Wednesday, as Seoul looked for allies ahead of a formal complaint against export controls by Tokyo on essential chipmaking materials. But those potential allies seemed to be keeping their distance.

The two sides stuck to the arguments they have used since Japan announced the tighter restrictions on such shipments early this month, along with the planned removal of Seoul from a "whitelist" of trusted trading partners.

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