South Korea to remove Japan from preferred trade list

South Korea's Trade, Industry, and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo speaks during a press briefing. (AFP photo)

South Korea says it has decided to remove Japan from a list of nations receiving preferential treatment in trade in what was seen as a retaliatory move to Tokyo's recent decision to downgrade Seoul's trade status.

South Korean Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said on Monday that the government was removing Japan from the country's 29-country "white list" because it has failed to uphold international principles while managing its export controls on sensitive materials.

South Korean officials did not specify what they saw as Japan's problems in export controls. They say they will work to minimize the negative impact on South Korean exporters and bilateral trade.

Sung said the changes are expected to enter effect sometime in September. 

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