South Korean Government and Five Political Parties Take Bipartisan Effort to React to Japanese Government’s Regulation

Jul 17, 2019

President Moon Jae-in and representatives from five ruling parties and opposing parties are going to have a meeting on the 18th at the Blue House to discuss about possible solutions towards Japanese Government’s recent regulation on exportation of three semiconductor and display materials. Because it is expected that the regulation will expand towards other industries in addition to semiconductor and display industries, this will be an opportunity for South Korean Government and political circles to have a bipartisan cooperation.
18th will be the deadline for South Korean Government to respond to Japanese Government’s request on ‘installation of an arbitration committee comprised of three countries’ regarding the ruling on forced labor. It is expected that South Korean Government and political circles will discuss about various solutions such as diplomatic measure by filing a lawsuit through WTO (World Trade Organization) and localization of materials and parts.
Five secretary generals from Democratic Party of Korea, Liberty Korea Party, Bareunmirae Party, Party for Democracy and Peace, and Justice Party met at the National Assembly on the 16th and agreed to have a two-hour meeting on the 18th with President Moon. The Blue House stated that it would carry out the meeting according to the agreement made by the five secretary generals.
It has been about a year and four months since President Moon and representatives from opposing parties last had a meeting. They are going to sit at one table and discuss about political issues. They believe that they need to set aside any confrontation and take actions by combining national opinions as there has been confusion within industries due to the regulation enforced by Japanese Government.
“We are going to receive reports from South Korean Government to prepare possible solutions and we are going to have various discussions towards current political issues and ways to have bipartisan cooperation.” said Secretary General Yoon Ho-joong of Democratic Party of Korea.
Representatives and chief secretaries from each party will also attend the meeting. Kim Sang-jo, who is the policy chief at the Blue House, Minister Hong Nam-ki of Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Minister Sung Yoon-mo of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will represent South Korean Government and make necessary reports to representatives from the five parties.
Although the main agenda will be how to deal with Japanese Government’s regulation, five parties also decided to discuss about other issues without any limitation. Some predict that the meeting may become intense as the parties discuss about current issues such as revision of Public Official Election Act and revised supplementary budget.
Democratic Party of Korea and the Blue House held a joint meeting at the National Assembly and decided to establish close cooperation in order to prepare for a possible prolongation of Japanese Government’s regulation. Chairman Choi Jae-sung of Japanese Economic Retaliation Measure Special Committee and Policy Chief Kim will have a hotline and communicate each other at all times. Democratic Party of Korea and the Blue House also made a request to South Korean Government about strengthening competitive edge of material, part, and equipment industries in addition to diplomatic efforts from many directions.
Meanwhile, South Korean Government is planning to bring up current issue as an agenda to WTO and is going to pressure Japanese Government through international debates at the same time. In the long term, its plan is to collect evidences and file a lawsuit through WTO.
The General Council of WTO, which is going to be held on the 23rd in Geneva, is going to inform international societies about problems of Japanese Government’s regulation. The General Council has a representative from every member country to discuss about important pending issues and it selected current regulation by Japanese Government as one of official agendas.
South Korean Government has raised intensity of pressure by informing current issue to The General Council, which is the highest-level decision-making body of WTO, after informing the issue as an official agenda to Merchandise Trade Council of WTO on the 8th. It is planning to carry out debates of public opinions internationally by the 24th when Japanese Government will finalize gathering opinions about revising its law so that South Korea will be excluded from its list of white countries.
South Korean Government also started looking at legal measures to file a lawsuit through WTO. WTO’s GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) Article I:1 on treatment of most-favored nation and Article XI:1 on prohibitions or restrictions of exportation are expected to be brought up through South Korean Government’s lawsuit. Experts believe that it will take some time before South Korean Government can file a lawsuit against Japanese Government through WTO.
“South Korean Government needs to collect necessary evidences before it can file a lawsuit through WTO.” said Professor Lee Hyo-young of Korea National Diplomatic Academy’s Economy and Trade Department. “It will take some time before South Korean Government can file a lawsuit as Japanese Government can delay exportation up to 90 days.”
Staff Reporter Song, Hyeyoung | & Staff Reporter Byun, Sanggeun |

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